County OKs agreements with VDMC for jail care

The Hamilton County Board of Supervisors Tuesday morning approved an agreement with Van Diest Medical Center to provide medical services to inmates at the Hamilton County Jail.

Sheriff Doug Timmons explained that part of the federal contract, the jail must provide medical services for federal inmates.

“Dr. Latella was doing this for us for several years, but he decided to retire,” Timmons said. “We talked with Van Diest Medical Center. We also found several businesses that solely take care of medical services at jails. But the price of those businesses were rather high.”

The service agreement with VDMC would bring doctors to the jail to see the inmate patients if its not an emergency.

“It’s a safety concern if we have to take the inmates over to the hospital each time,” Timmons said.

Chairman Doug Bailey said the agreement would be a “great partnership.” Additionally, Bailey said Hamilton County Public Health would be working with the jail to triage patients.

“They will be the first step and then will contact the hospital to see if the emergency room is needed or if the doctors can come to the jail,” Bailey said. The cost for the doctors to visit the jail would be $70 per visit.

The board also approved an amendment to a services agreement with VDMC.

“We have had a long-standing agreement with the hospital to provide a 15 percent discount for other services being provided,” Bailey said. “The hospital has increased that to a 30 percent discount for other services.

“Another very positive component to partnering with the hospital,” he said.

Contract awarded

Bids for two box culvert project were opened during the board meeting. Three companies submitted bids for the replacement projects. The projects include culvert H-191, located on 250th Street near Interstate 35 and C-262, located northeast of Webster City.

Gus Construction of Casey turned in the low bid of $391,712.05. Other bids received were from McCulley Construction of Barnes City for $410,351.60 and Graves Construction of Spencer for $515,791.60.

The engineer’s estimate for the project was $416,800.

This was the second time the project went to bid. The initial bids were thrown out as they were substantially over the engineer’s estimate, according to Nicole Stinn, county engineer.