Sheriff reports expenses under budget, jail population down
By MEGAN COOPER
Mt. Pleasant News
Everything is running efficiently at the Henry County Sheriff’s Department, according to Sheriff Rich McNamee.
“We are 14 percent under budget for May and we are in the upper teens for our jail population, which is good because in January we had 39,” said McNamee during department head meeting at the Henry County Board of Supervisors regular meeting Thursday morning. “I’m really proud of my deputies and we are doing a great job.”
According to McNamee, the sheriff’s department took its 21st, 22nd and 23rd drug dealer out of New London at the end of last week during yet another drug bust that the sheriff’s department implemented.
“We now have over 50 of them in the county now,” said McNamee. “The guys are doing a very good job. We even had some stolen cars in Wayland and Swedesburg, as well as Washington County, but the over night deputies are close to completing that case now. The people are caught, interviews need to be done and then charges will be filed.”
McNamee added that with good cases more jail problems are to come and he expects the jail population to rise back into the 20s early next week.
“A downer for my report though is that the grant we applied for in order to expand our jail was denied,” said McNamee. “When I get more details I will report them to you, but we were told to do some other things and reapply next year and we might get a different answer.”
Jelen McCall, who is the office manager for the Henry County Road Department, stepped in for Henry County Engineer Jake Hotchkiss during the meeting.
“We really appreciated the rain,” said McCall. “It helped to settle the dust. We have spent the last six to eight weeks hauling rock and had some issues. They can now go back onto the roads and smooth them out.”
McCall stated the road department would be starting painting soon and would be out prepping for that. It will take about a month to complete.
“We had a Department of Transportation (DOT) audit on our Oasis Avenue bridge project,” said McCall. “It’s a little unusual for them to do that when the project isn’t completed and it’s the first time it’s happened since I’ve been here. They were happy with everything though.”
Henry County Treasurer Ana Lair shared a story she heard at her Iowa State Treasurer Association conference that she attended in Waterloo regarding organ donation.
“One thing I wanted to share with you was a presentation that we heard,” began Lair. “It was on the Iowa Donor Network and the director, who is very interesting to hear, had set up a presentation by a donor family. This family had just lost their loved one, a son who was a young adult and he had his eyes donated.
“It was interesting to hear from the perspective of the donor family instead of the recipient family. Their son had passed away not even a year ago and his mom told the story. It was quite touching. I think it was just powerful to hear and to know that there is much more to donating than just eyes, livers, etc. arteries can be used as well. The importance of all this is knowing what can be done,” said Lair.
The department of motor vehicles office will be closed on Monday, June 9, due to training. The property taxes and permits office will be open. On Monday, June 16, the motor vehicles, property taxes and permits office will closed until 1 p.m. due to the tax sale taking place in the courtroom.
Next, Henry County Auditor and Commissioner of Elections Shelly Barber discussed how the election went on Tuesday night.
“We had a pretty poor turnout,” said Barber. “We had about 1,400 people in Henry County come out for the election, but that’s not too unusual for a primary election because people don’t want to affiliate themselves with a party.”
The Henry County Board of Supervisors will meet again in regular session on Tuesday, June 10, at 9 a.m. in the board room of the courthouse.