polk county board of supervisors

Polk County fights to keep records secret, citing ‘morbid curiosity’ of those who seek access

BY: - January 22, 2021

A legal battle over public access to a secret list of property owners maintained by Polk County is about to enter its fifth year, with county officials arguing that disclosure would only serve to satisfy “whatever morbid curiosity there is in the information.” Final written briefs in the case were recently submitted to the Iowa […]

Nation’s largest skatepark eyes spring opening in D.M., boost for worker recruitment and tourism

BY: - September 21, 2020

Iowa gets plenty of national buzz as home to the first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses. But ask out-of-staters what they think of Iowa, and many struggle to form an image beyond the obvious corn-and-ag “American Gothic” cliches. That, business leaders say, can be a challenge when they try to lure workers to Iowa and keep them here. […]

Polk County allocates $800,000 to assist residents facing eviction

BY: - September 1, 2020

The Polk County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday morning allocated $800,000 to assist hundreds of families in danger of becoming homeless due to the economic fallout of COVID-19. By Tuesday afternoon, some of the money had assisted four families facing immediate eviction, said Eric Burmeister, executive director of the Polk County Housing Trust Fund. “I […]

Polk County officials decline to enact mask mandate, citing legal fears

BY: - August 28, 2020

Despite recommendations from health officials, the Polk County Board of Supervisors is declining to declare a mask mandate in the area. The board cited concerns about the legality of enforcing the proclamation. The supervisors warned that central Iowa area is experiencing “record increases in COVID-19 cases,” and has moved into the “hot spot” categorization defined […]

Polk County’s top administrator to resign as part of a six-figure deal

BY: - June 19, 2020

Polk County Administrator Mark Wandro is leaving the county’s employment with a separation package that appears to include at least $106,000 in additional pay. Wandro’s written “retirement agreement and release,” which is expected to be approved by the county board of supervisors on Tuesday, calls for him to leave employment on June 30, while continuing […]

Polk County, WDM lift curfews after protests remain peaceful

BY: - June 4, 2020

The Polk County curfew related to violent protests over the past week has been lifted.  The Polk County Board of Supervisors, in a special Zoom meeting Thursday afternoon, voted unanimously to end the 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew that had been in effect since Sunday.  “After two nights of peaceful protests, we are lifting […]

Counties face mental health budget challenges as lawmakers prepare to reconvene

BY: - May 19, 2020

Iowa county officials are awaiting action from the Legislature on funding mental health services after a sales tax proposal was sidelined by financial uncertainty during the coronavirus pandemic. Gov. Kim Reynolds has vowed to shift funding for mental health services from county property taxes to state sources. That was part of her Invest in Iowa […]

Polk County extends office closures, joins Des Moines in asking residents to take precautions

BY: - May 14, 2020

The Polk County Board of Supervisors has extended the pandemic-related closure of county offices through July 1.  Board Chairman Matt McCoy on Thursday said county health officials are urging residents to stay home as much as possible and to practice social distancing despite Gov. Kim Reynolds’ decision to reopen more businesses statewide on Friday.  Among […]

Hungry and homeless: Are we steps away from another housing crisis?

BY: - May 7, 2020

A broad-based and evolving effort to feed and house the homeless in Greater Des Moines has drawn significant support as community groups scramble to retool programs to protect clients, staff and volunteers in a pandemic.  “These leaders know when the moral condition of your community is revealed, you have to act,” said Melissa O’Neil, chief […]

Local governments, nonprofits adjust plans amid pandemic’s financial toll

BY: - April 25, 2020

The socioeconomic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic can be seen in a homeless shelter at the State Fairgrounds, bigger demand for county aid, laid-off librarians, a growing array of online concerts and busy recreation trails in Greater Des Moines. Local governments and nonprofit organizations, like so many businesses, are adjusting on the fly. In a […]

McCoy: ‘Something drastic’ is needed on mental-health funding

BY: - February 28, 2020

With the fate of the governor’s tax proposal still up in the air, Polk County Health Services is unsure whether, or how, it will meet the county’s mental health needs come July 1st. Depending on what the Iowa Legislature chooses to do, the county could be faced with a $14 million hole in its planned […]