Webster County supervisors lease farmland

The Webster County Board of Supervisors approved hiring a new assistant county attorney to replace Dustin Gomez, whose last day will be May 25.

The board’s approval came in a short meeting Tuesday morning.

Gomez announced his resignation last week. He’s the newest attorney in the office, having started in February 2016. The new hire will maintain the county attorney’s office at five attorneys total.

The supervisors also signed a one year lease with Matthew Condon, of Palmer, to farm recently purchased land near the ag park called Iowa’s Crossroads of Global Innovation.

“This is a one year lease for the roughly 47 acres we purchased last month near Cargill,” Supervisor Nick Carlson said.

This is land formerly known as the Stotts farm, he said.

• The Webster County Health Department will grow several of its programs thanks to increased funding from the state of Iowa.

The Webster County Board of Supervisors approved a budget amendment to address this and other items at their regular meeting.

“We are a contractor with the Iowa Department of Public Health to provide services for Healthy Childcare Iowa,” said Kari Prescott, Webster County Health Department director.

The state provides funds, and the department provides technical assistance around the region, providing childcare nurse consultant services.

The new funds will allow the department to purchase iPads to better coordinate services, Prescott said.

Other funds will go to the Women, Infants and Children program. There’s a initiative going on to increase breastfeeding rates for new babies in the area, Prescott said.

“They awarded us some additional funding to purchase electric breast pumps,” Prescott said. “We’re working with the hospital to try to get those breast pumps into the hands of any new moms.”

Funds are also going to the I-Smile Silver program.

“We received funding to do additional promotional items, since the program is new in this area,” she said. “Focusing on elderly oral healthcare.

“We go to nursing homes, and we try to hit any area where the older population would be, so we can get them the educational information.”

The program is for adults 60 years and older, and provides education on the importance of oral health and how it relates to chronic disease. There’s a staff member for anyone needing dental care, or needing information.

Other items in this budget amendment include funding for the mental health department’s substance abuse funds, and increases in salary for Human Resources and Information Technology.