The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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February 13, 2014

New weather shelter policy drafted for county building use

CLINTON — A new policy is formalizing how the county responds to citizens needing shelter from extreme heat and cold.

Emergency Management Coordinator Chance Kness on Monday presented a cooling/warming center policy to the Clinton County Board of Supervisors. With this policy, the board would advertise that the County Administration building’s cafeteria and restrooms will be available during business hours during times of severe temperatures.

“The board has always acknowledged that this is a public building and open to the public during business hours and therefore people could come here, if they needed to, for times of extreme heat or extreme cold or other reasons,” Kness said.

While the building center has been used as a cooling/heating center before, Supervisor Brian Schmidt indicated there has been confusion on what the county was providing and who would contact the Gateway Area Chapter of the American Red Cross, if necessary.

“It was just getting the responsibility of who was doing what,” Schmidt said. “We’re just trying to make it clear.”

As part of the policy, staff at the building’s entrance will notify the board when the center is being utilized. The board’s staff will then contact Kness’ office, which will notify the Red Cross to provide any needed support to people at the center. After hours and during the weekends, the Red Cross should be contacted at 242-5223 to handle warming and cooling needs.

A list of questions on the back of the policy help building staff identify the needs of those utilizing it. This includes the individual’s reason for using the warming/cooling center and if they have anywhere else to go after the building closes.

“Having that opened up, allows us to identify those individuals that might have a specific need based on that severe heat or cold situation and then address that if it’s something beyond the business day,” Kness said.

The board will formally adopt the policy via a resolution on Wednesday.


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