Work continues on structure for Benton County Health

The Benton County Board of Supervisors proclaimed emergency services as an essential service at their meeting in Vinton. From the left are Supervisor Gary Bierschenk, Auditor Hayley Rippel, Cindy Pattee – Belle Plaine Area Ambulance Board Member, Mindy Fisher – Service Director Blairstown Ambulance, Anna Demuth – BCEMSA President/North Benton Ambulance Service Director, Mark Lint – Garrison First Responders, Sheriff Ron Tippett and Supervisor Tracy Seeman. Photo from North Benton Ambulance.

By Jim Magdefrau

VINTON – The Benton County Board of Supervisors moved forward on health administration at their meeting Tuesday, May 9, 2023, at the service center in Vinton.

Maggie Mangold of the health board met with the supervisors regarding an update and a possible budget amendment for next fiscal year. They are looking for an additional 0.5 full-time equivalency (FTE) employee for the department.

Health Board Member Lisa Staab showed the costs for the structures the board is considering. One option calls for separating out land use from the health administration. They talked about combining environmental health with public health. A health administrator would be hired for 1.0 FTE and continue environmental health and public health at 1.0 FTE each. However, Staab pointed out this is not the structure the supervisors chose.

Crisis Intervention Month was declared by the Benton County Supervisors. Shown are Supervisors Gary Bierschenk and Tracy Seeman, Auditor Hayley Rippel and Braxton Morrison and Michelle Brown of the Benton County Crisis Intervention Management team.

The current structure, supported by the board of health, has 1.5 FTE for environmental health. 1.0 FTE would be need for public health, plus 0.5 FTE to assist that individual. They said this will require additional funds. The exact number depends on how much it will cost to hire people. Supervisor Chairman Tracy Seeman felt this could be determined in the fall with an amendment. Other board members agreed.

Other business

A Class C Liquor License was approved for Blairstown Sauerkraut Days Beer Tent.

A proclamation was approved for Crisis Intervention Month. The supervisors had a picture with the proclamation and Crisis Intervention staff.

Vacation carryover was approved for Cara Martin of Veterans Affairs.

The final reading was approved that declares Emergency Medical Services as an essential county service. A group picture was taken.


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