BOS

A screenshot from video of the Mahaska County Board of Supervisors meeting on April 5, 2021. 

OSKALOOSA — After a lengthy discussion during Monday’s meeting, the Mahaska County Board of Supervisors voted to fund the 911 Board for the remainder of the fiscal year.

This decision after previous EMA/911 meetings with local leaders on how the two entities will receive money following a legal battle between the Board of Supervisors and EMA/911.

In February, a judge sided with the Mahaska Board of Supervisors over the Mahaska County 911 Service Board/EMA during a legal dispute over the countywide 911 dispatching center.

County Attorney Andrew Ritland said there’s no viable alternative to funding EMA/911 until the end of their fiscal year, not knowing what other options to use until after June 30.

“I don’t think we have a lot of choices, but I’m really uncomfortable funding something I don’t think should be funded legally,” Supervisor Steve Wanders said. “It’s like there’s no way out of this deal.”

Wander said the resolution only felt like a “band-aid” fix until the end of the fiscal year.

The board has also spent the last few meetings discussing the budget for EMA/911, where they raised their supplemental levy during their last session.

Despite criticisms, Supervisor Chair Mark Groenendyk set a motion to fund the 911 Board at $350,000 to maintain functions through June 30, which the board unanimously approved.

Around the end of the meeting, all three of the board members agreed to the idea of continuing mediation with EMA/911

Sarah Stortz can be reached at sstortz@oskyherald.com.

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