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Supervisors consider over the phone translation service

Published: Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013 11:13 a.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013 11:54 a.m. CDT

A translator may be just a phone call away for jobseekers applying to work for Union County.

The Union County Board of Supervisors is considering a language interpretation service via telephone through CTS LanguageLink.

Union County Engineer Steve Akes said the Iowa Department of Transportation uses the phone service to put them in compliance with Title 6, prohibiting discrimination based on race or national origin.

“If you subscribe to this service, anytime you have someone that needs translation, you just call this place and they translate,” Akes said.

It takes 24 hours to set up an account. There is no cost to sign up for the county to use the service and no monthly or minimal-use fee.

“That’s all we would bill you for,” said Manuela Villa, a sales representative for CTS LanguageLink. “Every month you receive an invoice for the minutes used.”

Each call is charged 82 cents per minute. The service offers more than 240 languages and is available every day, any time of day.

“If we get audited, we want to make sure we have everything in line,” said Union County Auditor Sandy Hysell.

Hysell said this service was brought up at an annual auditors’ meeting. If the county did not meet the Title 6 requirements, including to provide a translator, federal funding could be withheld.

“It is for everybody (that work for the county), but it mainly affects secondary roads because they get a majority of federal funding,” Hysell said.

EMS grant

In other county news, supervisors unanimously approved to partner with Union County Emergency Medical Staffs to allow the county to continue to receive an EMS grant provided by the state.

“The auditors office has always been our fiscal agent,” said EMS and health related service coordinator Cheryl Blazek. “It made it any easy choice to partner with.”

Union County EMS will receive a minimum of $2,979 to be split between Lorimor, Afton, Creston Fire Department and the Greater Regional Medical Center EMS staff.

The grant is available to all 99 counties in Iowa. If a county does not apply for the grant, its funds are redistributed to other counties.

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