11/29/2012 12:07:00 PM Cottonwood, Jackson County boards agree to 51-49% split
Commissioners from Cottonwood and Jackson counties emerged from today's joint meeting very upbeat about the future of a joint family service agency.
In front of a near-capacity crowd in the Cottonwood County commissioners room, the two boards started the meeting with key concerns about how the cost share would be split between the two counties. The two boards ultimately agreed to split all costs 51% (Cottonwood County) to 49% (Jackson County).
They also agreed to move forward with an interim joint powers board that would include all 10 commissioners from the two counties. While formal approval by each board is needed for both the percentage split and the interim joint powers board, the meeting left every indication that these are mere formalities and that the interim joint powers board will hold its first meeting in mid-January.
Cottonwood County commissioners said they support sharing the service, but they were hesitant to approve the 52-48% cost share that was initially been proposed by Jackson County. Jackson County commissioners have pointed out that Cottonwood County has 1,000 more people and therefore should pay a higher percentage.
Commissioner Tom White pointed out that all indications are that most of the key positions in this sharing arrangement could ultimately be housed in Jackson County. With that in mind, he did not favor the 52-48 split. After a lengthy discussion, the commissioners ultimately settled on a 51-49% split, a solution that was punctuated with a straw poll supported unanimously by all nine commissioners present (Cottonwood County Commissioner Norm Holmen was absent because of another commitment on behalf of the county).
The Cottonwood/Jackson joint family services system is scheduled to take effect in January of 2014.
For much more on this story, see the Dec. 5 Cottonwood County Citizen and Citizen eEdition.