By Jim Magdefrau
VINTON – Benton County is doing OK, despite a little bit of an uptick in Covid-19, according to a report from Katie Cox, Benton County Public Health Director, at the May 24 meeting of the Benton County Board of Supervisors in Vinton.
“We’re watching it fairly close,” she told the board. She reviewed data from the week before, which showed 40 new cases in Benton County. Vaccination status is looking good. They are working on getting people 50 years of age and older, or immunocompromised to get their second booster. Boosters have also been approved for ages 5 to 11 years. Soon they will be opening up to everyone to get a second booster. They are also working on a health survey.
Cox said they are working on ways to communicate to the public and are looking at several different options, including a web page.
She said they have several walk-in clinics throughout the county and has been helped by area pharmacies.
Benton County Attorney David Thompson asked what was the feeling of those at the hospital on what percentage of people have actually had Covid in Benton County. Cox said not everyone with home kits are mailing in their positive test results.
They are stressing the use of masks and hand-washing.
She also said 77 people have died from Covid in Benton County, when asked by Thompson.
She said she will be back to give an outlook on the new fiscal year.
A hearing was held on a road classification change for 11th Ave. between 72nd St. and 72nd St. Dr. and 73rd St. (US Highway 30). This is related to work on Highways 21 and 30, and people using the county gravel roads to get around the work on the intersection. The state has set a detour on hard-surfaced roads in Benton County. They want to make these Class C roads. They are now Class B. Class C allows them to put gates on either side of the road. Affected landowners Terry Schwab and Doug Kozik were at the hearing. The roads may be reclassified later.
A resolution for wage and classification change for Grant Vesely was approved. His new rate is $23.72 per hour.
Andy Jones was at the meeting to discuss road conditions across from Oak Grove Church. Jones had erosion concerns. Engineer Myron Parizek explained options for reshaping the road. He said the county wants to improve that bank and get it done no later than August.
The board approved renewal of the DECAT/CPPC contract. It stands for Child Welfare Decategorization and Community Partnerships for Protecting Children.
Amanda Seiler was approved as medical examiner investigator.
Jennifer Fencl met with the board on a Watershed Management Authority change order.
Thompson gave a detailed update on the courthouse clock. It has been removed and is in the Twin Cities for repair. They hope to have it back by next spring.
The board approved use of the courthouse lawn for Vinton Parks and Rec for June 16 and October 29, 2022. This is for Party In The Park and Halloween Carnival.