The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

JoCo Board of Supervisors approve $1 million in funding youth crisis services

After deferring their vote because of a potential legal conflict, the supervisors voted to provide monetary support for updates to youth crisis stabilization center facilities.
Sara Stumpff
The Johnson County Board of Supervisors sit at a panel during a meeting at the Johnson County Administration Building in Iowa City on Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023.

The Johnson County Board of Supervisors approved to fund over $1 million in renovations to youth crisis stabilization center facilities at Thursday’s formal session.

The supervisors unanimously voted to provide $1,050,000 to the Children’s Crisis Stabilization Residential Services facility.

The program needed support from the county because the Mental Health/Disability Services of the East Central Region was unable to provide additional funding. The county entered the agreement with the hope that the region will later reimburse the funds.

Sarah Nelson, chief executive officer of CommUnity Crisis Services, and Talia Meidlinger, executive director of United Action for Youth, came to the supervisors earlier last month with the same request.

However, the board deferred to vote on the matter at the request of Johnson County attorney Ryan Maas, who said it is against the Iowa constitution for the board to donate money to a private entity, in this instance, a nonprofit.

Maas has since created an agreement that allows the supervisors to provide monetary support to the program within the guidelines of the constitution. Maas presented a solution to the supervisors at Wednesday’s work session.

As of Thursday, the county entered into the agreement with the program, which will use the funds to bring its facilities up to Iowa Code.

Construction to update the facilities started Sept. 1. Renovations include installing an overhead sprinkler system, updating the ventilation, heating, and air conditioning systems, as well as adding staff offices and removing walls.

Located at the previous Kinderfarm property, the facilities will provide crisis services and temporary emergency shelter for youths in crisis. It is projected that the residential component of the program will hold eight beds. The program will also provide intervention services and treatment planning.

According to Wednesday’s work session agenda, the program is anticipated to begin accepting referrals of youth clients or service recipients in April 2024.

Vice Chair Rod Sullivan expressed his appreciation for Maas’s quick turnaround.

Maas said the time, attention, and expertise put into this agreement will be used to help create future agreements.

Supervisor V Fixmer-Oraiz also spoke positively of the new agreement.

“I appreciate you stepping up and maybe not reinventing the full wheel, but maybe a couple of spokes that look like Johnson County,” they said.

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About the Contributors
Roxy Ekberg, News Reporter
Roxy Ekberg is a first year at the University of Iowa. In the Honors Program, she is double majoring in journalism and political science with a minor in Spanish. Prior to her role as a politics reporter, she worked news reporter at the Daily Iowan and worked at her local newspaper The Wakefield Republican.
Sara Stumpff, Photojournalist
Sara is a third year UI student who transfered from Kirkwood. She is a "non traditional" student who will hopefully obtain her BFA in Photography and BA in Spanish.