Updated: Apr 1
MOUND CITY – On Monday, March 7, Linn County Health Department Director Missy Lancaster updated the Linn County Commissioners on projects at the health department and presented eight grants for the Linn County Commissioners to approve so they could be submitted on Friday.
Lancaster also said that the number of COVID cases was down.
She presented the eight grant applications for approval to the commissioners.
“On the COVID-19 expanding infrastructure, what can you use that for?” asked Commissioner Rick James.
Lancaster answered that it could be used for anything COVID related. She said that what she has written in the budget will pay the medical director each month, training expenses for the governor’s conference, equipment and supplies and also a one-time pay adjustment for extraordinary measures for staff.
“And then the supplement vaccine access, is this the first year that we have gotten that one, $21,000?” asked James.
She said that grant is new this year, said Lancaster.
Is that for vaccine? asked Commission Chair Jim Johnson.
Lancaster said, that they were for COVID once again, one is for access and one is for availability. They are a one-time grant. These funds have to be used by June 30, 2024. So, the health department will use some of it this year and will have a $37,000 carryover.
“And your newly formed board has seen all of these?” asked James.
Lancaster said the board has seen them, and that she went over each one of them. Board members had some ideas about what we could use it for because it is limited, there are some things they will pay for and some they won’t, she added.
Mainly, it was the board’s first meeting and it was going over each grant and what it could be used for and then the board will start a little more in depth next meeting.
“Was anybody against it?” asked James.
“Oh no!” said Lancaster.
Lancaster said that one of the grants allows the purchase of a car and she has put that in the budget to purchase a Linn County Health Department car because the health department staff has gotten to where they travel so much. It is written in the grants that department staff will get out to the lakes to offer immunizations and testing out there.
“Rather than the wear and tear on our vehicles plus mileage, and traveling over the gravel roads. We could be a little bit more mobile if we got something that sat up higher off of the ground,” said Lancaster.
Lancaster told the commissioners that the grant for the car has not been approved yet, and she would submit the grant on Friday. She said she thought it would be very nice to have, and gave the example that the staff will be traveling to Manhattan, Kan., at the end of the month and are having to take personal vehicles.
She said she knew that staff got paid for mileage, but noted the wear and tear on personal vehicles.
Commissioner Danny McCullough asked if the health department employee whose salary comes from grants also receives benefits through the grant instead of through the county.
Lancaster said this grant right now pays 100 percent of her salary and benefits.
The commissioners approved applying for the eight grants for a total of nearly $319,000.