MASON CITY, Iowa - It's a process that is two years in the making. Now, Cerro Gordo County is one step closer to leaving the County Social Services (CSS) mental health region and joining CICS.
At their meeting Tuesday morning, the County Board of Supervisors approved a motion to formally re-apply for CICS membership. Supervisor Chris Watts has been helping lead the initiative to move from CSS, and points to a couple of reasons behind the request.
"The region was too large to be as productive as I thought we could be. A lot of our money flowed out of the county, and felt that we needed the improvements in Cerro Gordo County. It was time to look out for ourselves a bit more."
The move is expected to provide better services, which include crisis intervention, education and mental health treatment, while also saving some taxpayer dollars. Watts says the move could save the county about $175-180,000.
"I believe we can continue to provide the services in a more fiscally responsible manner, and make sure our services maintain if not grow by joining CICS."
The CICS governing board will meet in about two weeks to consider the county's request. If approved, the county would not switch over until July of next year.
Currently, the CICS membership includes Boone, Franklin, Greene, Hamilton, Hardin, Jasper, Madison, Marshall, Poweshiek, Story and Warren Counties. In addition to Cerro Gordo, Webster County is also submitting a request to join CICS.