MAQUOKETA, Iowa — Jackson County supervisors have agreed to eliminate the county’s protective payee program and spread general relief duties between two departments.
The protective payee program has been signed over to Developing Alternative Choices Inc. of Maquoketa, which will run the program. Mary Bartels, who has overseen the county program for many years, has been hired by DAC to continue her role. DAC first suggested the changeover to the supervisors, who approved. DAC operates a similar program for its clients.
“County clients will see no change,” Bartels told supervisors. “I will be in the DAC offices (on Maple Street) instead of the courthouse.”
Bartels also ran the county general relief program. Supervisors said they plan to split those duties between the county’s case management office and Veterans Affairs Office.
Supervisors have written a letter to the Social Security office sharing their decision. Supervisor Chairman Jack Willey said they have not received a response from Social Security.
Willey said the move will save the county money, but he didn’t know how much.
The changeover did mean a huge change for the renovations and additions to the Penrose Annex the supervisors were planning. A house next to the Maquoketa Law Center was purchased last year. Supervisors planned to add on to the house for Bartels’ office as well as mental health and case management employees. Bids came in recently, which supervisors said were too high.
Instead, supervisors plan to scale back the project to renovation of the existing house for mental health and case management offices.
“Mary’s office would have been one of the largest in the annex,” Willey said. “We would have had to add extra security measures and more restrooms. Now we can just use the house.”
No date has been set for the renovation plans to be approved and go out for bid.