SIOUX CITY | It is not enough that Woodbury County has voted to leave the Sioux Rivers Regional Mental Health and Disability Services group, which also includes Sioux and Plymouth counties, at the end of  June 2018.

Woodbury County Board of Supervisors member Jeremy Taylor has a proposal that the entire regional agency be dissolved. Taylor and the other four county supervisors will discuss that option in Tuesday's 4:30 p.m. board meeting in the Woodbury County Courthouse, at 620 Douglas St.

In a short memo on the agenda item, Taylor wrote: "Termination of the Region is a more desirable outcome than withdrawal by Woodbury County for all member counties. Withdrawal will likely necessitate termination anyway, because Sioux and Plymouth County cannot stand alone as a region."

Taylor's proposal follows the action on Oct. 3 by the Woodbury County Supervisors to pull out of the Sioux Rivers group.

Woodbury, Sioux and Plymouth counties formed the Sioux Rivers group in July 2014 after the state changed from a local to a regional method of delivering mental health services for low-income people.

Over the subsequent months a rocky relationship developed, with other Woodbury County supervisors threatening to leave the group in August 2016. The Sioux Rivers CEO and others wanted Woodbury County to hold firm and not exit.

The resolution approved Oct. 3 by the county supervisors said the Sioux Rivers board, management and staff “have demonstrated an unwillingness to operate in a transparent and equitable manner to ensure that appropriate mental health and disability services are provided to the residents of Woodbury County.”

The Woodbury County Board of Supervisors last week began looking east when trying to find a new group of counties to join. In that action, the supervisors approved embarking on negotiations with Rolling Hills Community Services Region, with members from Buena Vista, Sac, Calhoun, Carroll, Cherokee, Crawford and Ida counties, who would have to agree to add Woodbury County.

The Iowa Department of Human Services oversees the division of counties into regions.

Taylor's proposal includes a vote to have he and Woodbury County Supervisor Keith Radig, who are the two county representatives to the Sioux Rivers Board of Governance, in the next Sioux Rivers board meeting introduce a measure to dissolve Sioux Rivers Regional Mental Health and Disability Services.

If that step were to be approved, all three counties would be looking for a new regional home as of July 1, 2018.


County and education reporter

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