County Changes City Coverage 28Es

Monday’s Mahaska County Board of Supervisors meeting saw changes to several cities’ agreements for law enforcement coverage. The change comes just two weeks before the start of the new fiscal year.

Barnes City, Beacon, Eddyville, Fremont, Keomah Village, Rose Hill, and University Park rely on agreements with the Mahaska County Sheriff's Office. Oskaloosa and New Sharon, have their own police department staff. Some communities have purchased equipment for the sheriff’s office versus making cash payments to the county. Sheriff Russ VanRenterghem said the department would secure the equipment and the city would send a check to the vendor.

During visits to Fremont and Eddyville earlier this year VanRenterghem told the respective councils that for fiscal year 2020-21 that he would seek increases in the contract, but was comfortable with the current arrangements. At the board meeting on June 3 it was indicated the supervisors desired updated agreements that provided the same coverage reimbursement and asked for new 28E agreements.

Board chair Mark Groenenboom and supervisor Steven Wanders said they wanted to see the funds go to the county’s general fund. Following the June 3 meeting a work session with the cities was held to work out agreements. Since budgets had previously been certified it was difficult to make an increase. However reimbursement could be negotiated.

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