The Winnebago County Board of Supervisors decided to pay the County Social Services invoice of $416,653.69 to finish this year’s allocations during their meeting June 18.
“In my opinion, we signed the 28E agreement, we really are bound by the 28E agreement as much as I hate to let Bob Lincoln get away with certain things, we have to pay our bill to get our vote back,” Supervisor Chairman Terry Durby said.
In saying this, Durby was referring to Iowa Code section 28E, which permits “state and local governments in Iowa to make efficient use of their powers by enabling them to provide joint services and facilities with other agencies and to cooperate in other ways of mutual advantage.”
Durby said he would hate to see them join another region without having paid their bills to the CSS mental health region, and Supervisor Bill Jensvold agreed, saying, “It doesn’t look good, I guess, in a sense.”
Durby said Jensvold has been a solid voice on the mental health region’s board, and he’d like to see him be a “voice with a vote.”
“We’ve made an impact over there,” Durby said.
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According to Jensvold, the proper way to handle the current mental health region and funding situation would have been to get out of the 28E sooner than they did or have it altered.
“CSS is no longer what it was when signed that agreement, and that was before the legislature decided to have a spend-down to lower the fund balances percentage you can have,” Jensvold said. “I sometimes wonder if somebody didn’t see a pile of cash there and decided that they were going to grab it.”
Jensvold said most of the money they’re paying CSS will be spent somewhere else besides Winnebago County in their mental health region.
“Other people at CSS have the audacity to think that CSS has been subsidizing our counties, which is absolutely not true,” Jensvold said.
According to Jensvold, about 53 percent of the CSS budget goes to Black Hawk County, but Black Hawk pays 25 percent of the budget money coming in.