Housing Office Remains In County 10/25/17
The Taylor County Board has decided to keep the administration of the county’s housing authority in the county. With the pending retirement of coordinator Denise Johnson, Northwest Regional Planning of Spooner made a pitch to the board to take over the county’s housing authority administration. Sheldon Johnson of Northwest Regional told the board that currently 5 of the 10 counties in their service territory rely on their housing authority services. To pay for their services they would retain 15% of all activities which they administer.
Supervisor Knoll asked Johnson what the response time would be for someone who’s furnace stopped working. Johnson replied that they should be able to complete the paperwork in a few days if the person was already on fuel assistance. Anyone who is on energy assistance is eligible for weatherization programs and furnace replacement reimbursement he said.
It’s estimated that the housing office at the court house which is now open 20 hours per week has about 10 inquiries per week. Supervisor Zenner expressed his support for keeping the services in house indicating he didn’t want to see anyone fall through the cracks. The current budget allows $38,000 annually for administrative expenses.
Following the presentation by Northwest’s Sheldon Johnson the board began their budget hearing.
Line item amendments included decreasing county board per diem by $7,000, an increase of bridge aids of $6,516, a decrease of the College Street special assessments by $27,000 due to overassessments by the city, and increasing the housing authority budget by $20,000 to allow for local staffing. Supervisor Makovsky expressed his support of the local housing office to assist the people who he termed as “downtrodden” by saying “either we’re human or we’re not”. The vote to add the $20,000 for housing authority administration passed with supervisors Thums, Lewis, Brooks, Hanson, Bub and Mildebrand voting no.
For 2018 the Taylor County Housing Authority will continue to have office hours in the Taylor County courthouse.