Washington supervisors delay plans to reopen courthouse

The Washington County Board of Supervisors decided Wednesday to delay reopening the county courthouse for at least a week.

At its June 23 meeting, the Washington County Board of Supervisors tentativly set Monday, July 6, as the date for reopening the county courthouse. However, at its Wednesday meeting, the supervisors reconsidered given Gov. Kim Reynolds cautionary advice and local health officials’ concerns. The supervisors decided to revisit the subject on July 14.

Homebuyers help

The supervisors took the legal steps to apply for $172,800 in federal funds to assist Washington County homebuyers. The maximum amount of assistance to a household would be $24,999 for a down payment and $6,000 for addressing lead-based paint issues. The down payment help may not exceed 50 percent of the lender-required down payment and the closing costs assistance may not exceed $3,500. Home inspection assistance may not exceed $300.

The assistance, available through a Community Development Block Grant program, would be provided as a five-year receding forgivable loan. The property must remain the applicant’s principal residence for the full five years following acceptance of the funds for the loans to be forgiven.

If the county’s application is accepted, individuals’ applications for funds will be processed on a first-come-first-served basis. To be eligible, applicants must have a household income that does not exceed 80 percent of the median household income established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Ambulance action

The board approved an interim fund loan to purchase property at 1120 N. Eighth Ave. in Washington to house the new Washington County Ambulance Department, which became operational Wednesay. The purchase price was $340,000. Supervisor Richard Young, who owns the property, abstained.

The supervisors also approved an agreement with the cities of Kalona and Wellman to have the ambulance service occupy a building at 2285 133rd St. in Kalona to house one of its two ambulances to improve response times in the northern part of the county. Under that agreement, improvements to the building will be made at no costs to the county and the county agrees to pay for all utility services for the three years of the agreement.

Other business

In other business, the supervisors:

*Decided not to meet July 7, making its next meeting July 14.

*Acknowledged a 10-year renewal of a lease between the Washington County Conservation Board and Ronald Crawford for use of the Crawford Pond.

*Approved a cigarette permit for Ainsworth Four Corners LLC.

*Discussed the COVID-19 virus.