Mahaska County Board Of Supervisors Meeting Discusses Country Life Health Care Facility Closure

Business regarding the closure of the Country Life Health Care facility was the headlining topic at Monday morning’s Mahaska County Board of Supervisors meeting.

The item on the agenda called for discussion of inventory disposal of the beds, dressers, and other living items that are housed in the facility. At the last Supervisors meeting in April, there was discussion regarding the idea that the Christian Opportunity Center could have some of the items as they work with placing three of the residents to help get them started.

According to Chair Mark Doland, the terminology of the motion is what will allow this to occur.

“We cannot gift property, but we can, as the board, make a legislative finding during an open meeting that there is a public purpose to be served by the property being in possession of the previous tenants, that is Country Life.”

The Board spoke with Julie Bak of the Christian Opportunity Center, and ironed out more details, including making a point to have a list of what items will be taken by each resident. Also, a coordinator placing three other Mahaska County residents asked if it was possible to have the same rules in place for the other residents that are not being placed by the COC. The Board decided unanimously that it was a good idea to open it up to all people being displaced in Mahaska County from the Country Life facility. This includes helping these residents with their first month’s rent at their new location.

Country Life is scheduled to close to residents by June 30, and will be officially closed for business at the end of September.

In other business, the Board went into an agreement with Marion County to get assistance from county attorney Ed Bull as Mahaska County looks to replace Amy Zenor at the same position. Supervisor Mike VanderMolen, who is also an attorney, set up the arrangement. Zenor has resigned to take an attorney position in her home county of Clay County. This passed on a 2-1 vote, with Vice Chair Willy VanWeelden opposing due to being left out of that decision making process to enter the agreement.
Other happenings in the meeting:

– The Board unanimously approved reviving the Courthouse Security Committee, which was formed but never met several years ago. This was done at the request of Mahaska County Sheriff’s Deputy Don DeKock.
– The Board unanimously approved setting July 6th as the date for a public hearing regarding setting up a committee to discuss the one-cent tax proposal.
– The Board passed a voluntary annexation in Oskaloosa by Carbonado Road, which was already city property.
– The Board heard an idea about the Farmer’s Market moving back to the square this year, proposing the road would be closed on the north half of the west side of the square to create a more festive atmosphere on Tuesday evenings and Saturday mornings.
– The Board heard from maintenance manager Troy Bemis regarding a raised crack in the sidewalk in front of the courthouse, which will be addressed soon for safety reasons.
– The Board discussed having a hazardous waste policy adjusted. Wapello County has not been allowing Mahaska County hazardous waste to be dumped, which was the prior agreement. VanderMolen believes Mahaska County should create their own policy, as they are one of only eight counties in Iowa without one.

The next scheduled meeting of the Mahaska County Board of Supervisors is June 1st in the third floor conference room at the Mahaska County Courthouse on the square in Oskaloosa.


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