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The Winnebago County Board of Supervisors has sent a letter requesting entrance into the Northwest Iowa Care Connections mental health region.

The letter submitted to the Northwest Iowa Care Connections Mental Health and Disability Service was for consideration of Winnebago County’s membership in their mental health region, as of July 1, 2020.

During their meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 22, the supervisors agreed on the importance of mental health funding returning to the control of the county.

Doing so would allow the county to be more proactive, efficient and better at serving the people of Winnebago County, they said.

It would also make it probable to gain better control of their funding expenditures, which, according to the board members, were getting out of hand.

“We’ve lost control of our money spending,” said Supervisor Chairman Terry Durby. “There is more money going out of this county to other counties than we are actually utilizing here and it’s happening in all the counties around us.

“It’s all going over to another part of the state, so we’re trying to figure out a way that conforms with Iowa code…where we can control our monies and still provide better services.”

Supervisor Bill Jensvold said, “We want to be able to spend more money on the people of Winnebago County and take care of our people better and probably do it for less."

After sending the letter of intent to leave CSS last week, the Supervisors are now researching other options concerning the mental health region, whether that means joining a small region like NICC, which consists of only five counties, one or two of which are either planning on leaving or have already left, or forming their own mental health region.

Last year, the Supervisors tried to get out of CSS and form their own mental health region with Hancock County, Kossuth County and Worth County, and Durby said that may have hurt their chances of getting into NICC.

“We’re not complying with the rules,” he said.

Any changes made regarding which region Winnebago County becomes a part of will not come into effect until July 1, 2020.

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