County supervisors hear updates from meetings of subcommittees
By MEGAN COOPER
Mt. Pleasant News
Business was a little slow during the Henry County Board of Supervisors meeting Thursday morning.
“I’m sorry, we just don’t have a lot to talk about today. Not sure what you will write,” joked chairman Gary See as he called the meeting to order. The agenda was light for the meeting Thursday.
See and board member Greg Moeller discussed their subcommittee reports from their meetings in the last couple of days.
“RUSS is waiting on results of the arbitration hearing regarding Mahaska and Wapello Counties wanting to leave RUSS,” Moeller began. “Also, there is still an ongoing mediation in the Mt. Union/RUSS situation.”
See met with the 8th Judicial District Department of Corrections and they discussed new policies and went over the budget, which is right on track for this year, according to See. “Sometimes, it feels as though we change policies every other meeting, but I know it’s necessary,” he said.
The 8th Judicial District provides community correctional services, which includes all services except prison incarceration, to 14 counties in Iowa, including Appanoose, Davis, Des Moines, Henry, Jefferson, Keokuk, Lee (north and south), Louisa, Mahaska, Monroe, Poweshiek, Van Buren, Wapello and Washington.
The district also maintains two residential facilities in Burlington and Ottumwa. “The facility in Ottumwa is male and female, and the one in Burlington is only male,” See clarified.
The chairman then discussed information regarding the high-risk probation officers. “Right now, the 8th Judicial District has only five high-risk probation officers. Those officers have the right to check up on their parolees whenever they want to in order to make sure they (parolee) are on track to getting better,” See said. “So, in a sense, they can show up at the parolees house at 2 a.m. to check and see if they are doing what they are supposed to do. They can come unannounced and any day of the week.”
According to See, these high-risk parole officers are dressed in what would be close to police riot gear. “They have the boots, vests and are armed. This was mandated about five years ago, in order to protect themselves because they would never know who is in the house when they went to check and anyone in the house could be armed,” See said.
The board has heard information regarding the solid waste site and has received an agreement, but will take time to go over the agreement and make sure everything is in order. More information will come at a later date.
The Henry County Board of Supervisors will meet on Tuesday, Dec. 17, at 9 a.m. in the board room of the courthouse.