Buena Vista County decided to sign a three fiscal year contract with Plains during their meeting Tuesday. The current contract with Seasons Center will run out on July 1.
"What I want to get is the best we can get for the money we've got," said County Supervisor Paul Metten.
The change has been under discussion for some time, although Seasons officials had pleaded for a second chance with the county.
Dawn Mentzer, the county's mental health services representative, says the change should be relatively smooth, with block grant funding simply redirected in process.
The County was also presented a proposal from Kuehl and Payer Ltd of Buena Vista County as a possible consultant for county wide sanitary sewer control. This year the Iowa Legislature passed a law that will require an inspection of all on-site treatment systems at the time of sale.
However, Neal Kuehl said that many private residences that are located outside city limits haven't had adequate space to properly install the systems so therefore wouldn't pass inspection. The on- site systems that fail along lakes can cause harm to the lake. The County has been mandated as a "viable entity" in implementing the recent law and assisting in getting the systems worked on. The County Environmental Health Director is in charge of organizing the enforcement of the recent law.
Another reason the County has been mandated is because if a resident wished to sell their property after July 1, 2009, they wouldn't have an organization to go to for certication of their on-site system otherwise.
Kuehl informed the board that the County Environmental Health Director had been informed and has researched and understands what needs to be done to comply with the law. However, he said she has a limited staff and will require outside forces.
Kuehl said he felt Kuehl and Payer would be a good consultant for the job because they are located in BV County and know the lay of the land. The money used for consultation would stay in BV County and their engineers have many years of experience in working with wastewater systems, he said. "We have the expertise for you right here in Storm Lake and we'd like to be your consultants," Kuehl said. He also outlined some steps during the meeting they would take to felt help implement the law. "I don't know what the scope of the service is going to be," he said, "but we'll work with your budget."
"Until we get some costs we don't know which way to go," said Kim Johnson. Kuehl recommended hiring an engineer to come up with an estimate for the project.