Supervisors hear funding requests



The Webster County Board of Supervisors heard funding requests from local groups and organizations during their meeting Tuesday morning.

The Domestic/Sexual Assault Outreach Center, Webster County Agricultural Association/Fair and Elderbridge each presented requests for financial support for fiscal year 2014.

Connie Harris, D/SAOC executive director, explained the reorganization of domestic and sexual assault services and outreach in the state of Iowa.

“We’re already down $1 million in funding statewide,” said Harris.

Harris said there are now regions for the outreach and shelter programs which assist abuse victims, meaning D/SAOC could take on a greater caseload in 2013 and beyond.

“Instead of Webster and surrounding counties, we have 21 counties instead of eight,” she said.

Harris said three additional communities in the new district – Marshalltown, Mason City and Ames, offer similar programs to that of D/SAOC and that they would be combining services. In the arrangement, she said, it would be likely those organizations would close their shelters, with D/SAOC becoming the primary shelter provider.

“In this region set-up the chance of the other three shelter’s survival is very slim,” said Harris. “We agreed to divide up our services so no one would have to shut their doors completely. The others will continue to provide outreach.”

Even with a cut in funding, Harris said she is not worried about the future of the D/SAOC shelter.

“We are a designated shelter,” she said. “I am not concerned that we would be competing for a shelter. We won’t be competing so we won’t have to close our doors.”

Harris told the board it would be important to provide support for D/SAOC programs because they serve many local people.

“I’d say 70 to 80 percent of our shelter outreach comes from Webster County,” she said. ” And we will continue to see Webster County people in our shelter because we are close. We need to be able to say we are supported by our counties.”

Representatives of the Webster County Fair also asked for the board’s support, saying that they have several board members with new ideas and plans for the fair and fairgrounds in the future and Mick Tagesen, with Elderbridge Agency on Aging also addressed the board, requesting funds in the amount of $23,190.30 for the year beginning June 30.

“It would be a good sound business decision on the county’s part to support us,” said Tagesen.