The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

December 10, 2013

A lot of talk, no action on DHS move



"We should probably put or County people ahead of everyone else," Kingery said. 

The East Annex has not been used for office space since Public Health moved to its current location in April 2011. Raymie told the board that DHS is willing to pay for space at the East Annex, which is a good thing. Bull added that he thought the agreement would have been "fairly lucrative" for Marion County. The East Annex is currently bringing in no revenue. 

Bull continued to discuss how his office utilizes the HIRTA building. This includes family team meetings twice a week. If his office did not have access to the building, and had to travel outside of the county to hold them, it would create a hardship for his office and the families involved. Bull later said that the office could utilize the building if it has access, regardless of whether or not DHS maintained a presence there. 

Agan seemed to have no information regarding the intentions of DHS, though Bull indicated that the DHS situation has been discussed at a previous board meeting. Kingery reiterated his concern about having enough space for County services. 

According to Maintenance Director Cal Stephens, every person working for DHS in the county could fit into the East Annex, and half of the building would still be empty. Stephens also believes there is ample parking around the building. Stephens is also under the impression that if the East Annex required any remodeling to meet DHS needs, the DHS would pay for it. 

"I don't want to commit that building (East Annex) to DHS," Agan said. Plans for facilities should be based upon needs of the County. 

Central Point Coordinator Betty Moll said that if DHS moves its Targeted Case Management out of the county, many consumers would be hurt. Most of them are poor, have no vehicles, or otherwise would struggle to have their needs met. 

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