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In a 4-1 vote Tuesday, Washington County supervisors agreed to consider a request from the YMCA for its proposed new building to be considered an emergency disaster shelter.
Chairman Abe Miller voted against the request.
The county’s cost would be about $5,000 to aid with preliminary planning to include a possible mobile generator.
The board will review a sample agreement in which the county commits no funds unless the project goes forward and only when actual funding is needed.
Supervisor Richard Young stressed this “is for an emergency shelter” use, separate from actual YMCA operations and primarily for a generator.
It was noted by several people at the meeting that there is no emergency disaster shelter in the county.
The proposed building, with its 80,000 square feet, will be within 10 miles of 50 percent of the county’s population, noted a representative from Carl A. Nelson, project planners/managers.
He added the project is in the final design stage and that a $100,000 generator would operate the entire building, a $20,000 one would target key areas and a $5,000 mobile unit could be made permanent.
Supervisor Stan Stoops, who had earlier voted against a $20,000 county allocation to the project, said he supported this effort, as a response for likely future emergencies.
Kalona City Administrator Ryan Schlabaugh said county support for that aspect will be noted in the project’s application for Vision Iowa funding.
The application for the Vision Iowa grant is Sept. 12
In terms of meeting possible county emergencies, Young noted it is a “cost-effective measure” and a “good project” if the county “has to look at the future,” adding “especially for what we get in return (for the $5,000).”
Groundbreaking at the site north of the city’s downtown is expected this fall.
Supervisor Jack Seward Jr. asked that the agreement be on next week’s meeting agenda.