Two items I wanted to discuss with you this week: Economic Development and Mental Health/Developmental Disabilities.
Since I have been on the Board of Supervisors, I have had an interest in economic development and improving quality of life initiatives to attract and retain families, young professionals and businesses. MSI Mold Builders, a local company based in rural Linn County that makes high end molds for plastics electronics and computer components, came to the Board of Supervisors to request economic development funds as part of a local match for a grant to expand their facility. This local match, which totals $28,800 split over two fiscal years, was required by the Iowa Economic Development Authority for a $144,000 economic package. The match from the Supervisors and their expansion will enable MSI Mold Builders to expand their facility, retain 6 employees and bring 18 new jobs to Linn County with an average wage of $23.94/hour.
If we did not participate in this match, the company would have moved those jobs to their company’s headquarters in South Carolina. Bringing high paying jobs to Linn County and assisting a local business growth will yield a good return on investment for Linn County residents and tax payers.
Here is the article in the Cedar Rapids Gazette about our economic development assistance: http://thegazette.com/2012/09/12/linn-supervisors-approve-msi-incentives/
Regionalization of Mental Health/Developmental Disabilities:
Helping people with mental health challenges and disabilities has become my top priorities. Linn County has experienced reductions in funding for these critical services and we have been working with State Legislators, Department of Human Services, area-non profits and residents on finding the most efficient and effective way of getting services to those who need it.
Since the passage of mental health reform last year, counties are forming regions to pool their resources to be able to better provide services. Linn County has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to form a region with Benton and Jones County. This week, 6 other counties expressed interest in learning more about how we have been planning together, where we are in the planning phase and discuss joining the region.
Here is the article from the Cedar Rapids Gazette:
How does a region benefit Linn County residents? A region will ensure that services are provided to those who need it. A region allows county’s to coordinate their services, pool resources and provides better overall cooperation among government agencies.
The new system will present challenges, but they are challenges we can overcome. I am excited to be working with other counties in providing these critical services to our community’s most vulnerable citizens.