WOODSTOCK — The Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors is reviewing a list of potential building projects.
During Tuesday afternoon’s Board of Supervisors meeting, Jim Boyd, a representative of Grimm and Parker Architects, gave a presentation regarding facility planning throughout the county. The presentation included possible developmental and renovation projects for specific departments.
Some of the possible projects Boyd mentioned included:
• renovating and expanding the space in the Social Services building,
• creating an evidence storage space and replacing the fire training building for the Department of Fire and Rescue,
• building a new recreation center with or without a public pool,
• fixing the roof at the Shenandoah County Government Center,
• expanding the Shenandoah County Circuit Courthouse or building a new courthouse, and replacing three buildings for the county’s landfill.
“I’d be interested in hearing what you kind of designate as the priority of things,” asked board member Tim Taylor.
Boyd said he believed that fixing the roof at the Shenandoah County Government Center should be a top priority because it is in poor condition. Based on estimates made about a year ago, the project would cost around $1 million for labor and materials, Boyd said.
Taylor commented that the county should focus on taking care of what they already have before moving on to projects that involve building something new.
Supervisor Dennis Morris agreed with Taylor on the idea that there should be a list prioritizing which projects are the most important for the county.
Also during Tuesday’s meeting, the board discussed the annual performance contract for Northwestern Community Services, a behavioral health agency that offers services to children and adults dealing with mental illness, substance abuse, emotional/behavioral disorders, and intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Northwestern’s Chief Financial Officer Greg Gutmeir and Chief Operating Officer Katie Heritage told the supervisors about the current performance and growth of the organization. Over the last five years, Northwestern has had a 25% increase in the number of clients, but the organization has been dealing with a shortage in workers, particularly case managers who make up 60% of their workforce.
Gutmeir said that there is currently a waiting list of around 80 clients in children's services due to a shortage of case managers.
“We are making progress in recruiting but then we’ll lose it on the retention side,” Gutmeir said about the lack of case managers.
Morris told Gutmeir that supervisors were surprised when they heard about the number of vacancies the organization was facing.
“It kind of blew us away,” Morris said.