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Muscatine County Courthouse

Muscatine County Courthouse is shown in June 2017.

MUSCATINE — Participation in a wellness program may become an option for employees of Muscatine County.

A review during Monday morning's meeting of the Board of Supervisors of health and dental coverages included possibilities for a wellness program. The supervisors indicated interest in establishing a program, including start-up costs.

Devonne Harford of Wellmark told the board that current health care covers 188 members, generating $2.1 million in paid claims last year.The largest single claim was $208,000 related to cancer treatment, and the largest single claim for this year is expected to be $250,000. The current year has seen 48 claims over $10,000 each, but only 37 were expected.

The Supervisors later clarified that the program covers 406 members.

Supervisor Jeff Sorensen asked if routine medical checkups have a significant impact on avoiding serious and expensive health issues.

"Your members have done a good job of going back to the doctor, but I think there are 32 people who haven't gone to a doctor at all," Harford replied.

Harford also reported that the annual cap on dental coverage has increased from $1,000 to $2,000 through 2021.

Funding for well testing

Muscatine County's rural residents are encouraged to get their wells tested. The Board of Supervisors Monday morning approved an application to the Iowa Department of Public Health for a Well Testing Grant renewal.

"Last year we were awarded around $30,000," Planning and Zoning Administrator Eric Furnas told the board. "There's plenty of money left for this fiscal year yet. It's a good grant to have."

Furnas reported 72 wells have been tested and four old wells have been capped during the current fiscal year.

New restroom for Discovery

A new public restroom will be placed in Environmental Discovery Park. The board authorized County Conservation Director Curt Weiss to proceed with installation of the new facility to be located near the new playground.

Huffcutt Concrete of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, will provide the unit at a cost of $84,870, including installation. Weiss said the costs of the foundation, sidewalks and plumbing will bring the total to between $105,000 and $110,000. But he said porta-potties will be provided instead during the winter months. "These are not heated, not insulated," Weiss said. "So we won't run them all winter long."

Weiss expects installation to be completed in mid August.

In other action:

  • The board approved the low bid of $209,936 from Peterson Contractors Inc. of Decorah for grading for a road to replace a structure on Iron City Avenue.
  • The board approved reappointment of Jodi Royal-Goodwin and appointment of Michael Calvin to the Muscatine County Veterans Affairs Commission for three year terms ending June 30, 2022.
  • The board approved appointment of Paul Elshoff to fill a vacancy on the Muscatine County Civil Service Commission ending June 30, 2020.

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