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Cerro Gordo Board of Supervisors signs half million dollar childcare agreement
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CERRO GORDO COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

Cerro Gordo Board of Supervisors signs half million dollar childcare agreement

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Cerro Gordo Board of Supervisors - June 2020

The Cerro Gordo County Board of Supervisors convene for a meeting on June 23.

Through grant funding from the state, three North Iowa counties will have a reserve of money for childcare and school-related child services going into a fall where so much in that realm is unknown because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tuesday morning, the Cerro Gordo County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved signing a fiscal agreement with Hancock and Worth County to act as a fiscal agent for more than $526,000 in state funds.

The way the yearly agreement works is that the so-called fiscal agent is responsible for depositing funds into specific accounts, as well as issuing local board personnel-authorized payments and maintaining separate documentation of all fund-related transactions. 

The funding comes in the way of $428,827 for "School Ready Children Services" and $97,270 for an "Early Childhood Program." The agreement itself is set to run through June 30, 2021 upon which time it will have to be renewed.

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At the federal level right now, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) is trying to move a bill through the U.S. Senate that, according to Politico, would "grant $50 billion to child care providers affected by the coronavirus pandemic cover their expenses." Part of the thinking there is that the broader economy cannot fully stabilize at this time unless workers have a better understanding of how their children will be cared for.

During the meeting, the three-panel board also unanimously approved spending $158,863 for updates to its IT infrastructure. 

According to Cerro Gordo County Director of IT Ken Bahls, some of the county's equipment is "running into capacity issues and nearing end of life as well."

Ideally, with the right updates, the county would be able to run all of its virtual services out of a single site by reducing the number of servers needed. Bahls said that the new infrastructure should last between seven and 10 years.

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Jared McNett covers local government for the Globe Gazette. You can reach him at Jared.McNett@globgazette.com or by phone at 641-421-0527. Follow Jared on Twitter at @TwoHeadedBoy98.

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