A new roommate will move into the Penrose Annex soon.

Jackson County Public Health, under the direction of Genesis VNA (Visiting Nurse Association), will take up residency in the county-owned building.

The move will happen in the next few weeks, according to Michele Cullen, who oversees public health in Jackson and Clinton counties.

The Jackson County Board of Supervisors last week signed a lease with Genesis VNA to rent one office in the Penrose Annex. The county’s mental health, veterans affairs, and human services departments already reside in the building, so Public Health would be a new addition.

Genesis VNA initially leased office space for Jackson County Public Health in the former Jackson County Regional Health Center on West Grove Street, but the new facility “does not have enough room for us,” Cullen said.

Under the terms of the lease, Genesis VNA will pay $150 per month to rent an office inside the Penrose Annex, which is located just west of the Maquoketa Law Center on West Platt Street.

Jennifer Warren and semi-retired Sarah Hobbs of Jackson County Public Health will work out of the Penrose office, Cullen said, noting that they might be in the office one day or so per week.

“Most of their work is done out in the community,” Cullen explained.

The lease will expire June 30, 2023, with the option to renew.

Supervisor Mike Steines recommended that the county and Genesis VNA annually review how the partnership is working before automatically renewing the lease.

Genesis VNA will pay to have its name placed on the sign already erected outside in front of the building.

Supervisor Larry McDevitt initially questioned whether Genesis VNA even needed to pay rent since Jackson County Public Health works strictly for the county. However, Steines replied that a “token amount” of rent would help pay for building maintenance, cleaning, snow removal, etc.

Supervisor Chairman Jack Willey suggested the $150 monthly rental fee, which Cullen agreed was “reasonable.”

Genesis VNA will be billed quarterly for the rent and will move into the Penrose Annex within the next few weeks.

In other news, the Board of Supervisors:

• Decided to pay about $900 more for a new lawn tractor to keep business local. The board agreed to pay Kunau Implement about $27,928 for a new Kubota F2690 with a 60-inch deck.

The other bidder, JP Sherman Implement of Farley, came in with a net bid of $27,000.

County maintenance supervisor Marty Hudrlik said he didn’t think he could haul the mower back and forth to Farley for repairs for $900 — the approximate difference in the two bids.

“I think it’s important to buy local if you can,” Willey said of the decision to accept the larger bid.

• Awarded a contract worth slightly more than $69,500 to Scheckel Construction to replace a small bridge on 380th Avenue in Tete des Morts Township with a culvert.

• Awarded a contract of slightly more than $23,500 to Kluesner Construction for mixed asphalt work in the county.

• Awarded a contract of $50,400 to Wheel Lumber to purchase 16-foot lengths of lumber for backwalls and embankment supports for county bridges. County Engineer David Dryer noted that the price for such lumber increased from about $113 to $132 after the Aug. 10 derecho.

• Awarded a contract for more than $70,800 to O’Brien Steel Service to purchase I-beams. Dryer again noted that the cost of steel increased as a result of the derecho.