OTTUMWA — The Wapello County Board of Supervisors approved three separate contributions to various entities affiliated with the Area 15 Regional Planning Commission.

The supervisors contributed $7,125 dollars to the AHEAD Regional Housing Trust Fund, which promotes the creation and preservation of affordable housing for low- to- moderate-income families.

"This is an annual commitment we make. People can get up to $12,000 worth of improvements. It's financially based on their income, whether they have to pay it back immediately or make payments," vice chair Jerry Parker said. "It's a very good program."

"For everything we give to, this is probably one of the best programs that we do have to help stabilize housing in the community in a lot of ways," supervisor Brian Morgan said. "Roofs, windows, heating or air conditioning, it really helps a lot of people, especially on the elderly side. It's probably one of the best things we contribute to as far as bang of our buck."

The supervisors also offered $5,369 of support to the planning commission, or 50 cents per capita, and offered $2,649 to the regional planning affiliation.

In other business:

• The supervisors approved three change order requests regarding the upgrades to the fire sprinkler system in the courthouse.

"Any time you do something that major to an older building, you run into some things you didn't anticipate," Parker said. "We've had a couple already."

One of those includes a change ($3,142) to the attic where sprinklers aren't able to get to. However, one of the air conditioning units is in that area, which was only accessible from the fire escape, which will be removed.

Another change ($142) is to the elevator machine room

"We had an estimate at the beginning as to what these things would cost, and we had a public hearing on it," Parker said. "But that can change. (The cost) may go up or down. It's good throughout the process that we know what changes are being made, so at the end people will know why it went that way."

The final change order request does not list an estimate because Elite Fire Sprinkler Systems will bring in a contractor to determine the work. Parker said on the top floors the cable lines for computers and telephones were hung from the sprinkler system, "which is not a good idea."

"It was best that instead of us trying to find a cable contractor, we're just increasing the price for Elite to find the contractor because they know where it has to be moved to and from," Parker said. "It's to unhang and reroute by drilling through some of the walls."

• The supervisors approved the resignation of Marcia Weeks from the county veterans commission.

— Chad Drury can be reached at cdrury@ottumwacourier.com, and on Twitter @ChadDrury

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