(December 30, 2019) Jefferson County Health Center (JCHC) approved donating land to Jefferson County Kids, Inc. In November, the non-profit corporation announced plans to add a child care center in Fairfield. The parcel is located directly west of the JCHC’s campus.
Renee Rebling, JCHC’s Board of Trustees Chairperson, said, “With childcare being a big concern for the working families in Fairfield, the JCHC Trustees are very happy that we can donate the land that Jefferson County Kids need for their new center. We believe the location will be beneficial not only to the residents but also to the parents driving from other communities to work at our local businesses.”
Prior to the approval, JCHC considered its future land use to ensure sufficient acreage was retained for future growth.
Bryan Hunger, CEO of JCHC, said, “As an employer we understand and feel the strong need for more child care spaces in our community. After reviewing our future campus needs, we were comfortable with donating 3.59-acres of our total 48-acres for the new center. We are proud to be a community partner in helping remedy this workforce obstacle.”
Jefferson County Kids Board of Directors first completed an assessment of viable and available building sites in Fairfield and identified the JCHC site as the preferred location for the center.
In November, collaboratively, Jefferson County Kids Inc., Early Childhood Iowa for Iowa/Jefferson/Keokuk Counties (ECI) and, Fairfield Economic Development Association (FEDA) announced plans to add a child care center to address the child care shortage in Jefferson County.
Joshua Laraby, FEDA’s Executive Director and Co-Project Manager for Jefferson County Kids, said, “We are incredibly grateful for Jefferson County Health Center’s contribution and investment in this project. We couldn’t ask for a more ideal location, neighbor and grounding partner. With a site now secured, it positions us to move to the next level of the development, including fundraising.”
Jefferson County Kids, Inc. is led by the following Board of Directors: Bryan Hunger, CEO of Jefferson County Health Center and President of Jefferson County Kids, Inc Board; Teri Bockting, Vice President of Human Resources at Cambridge and Vice President of Jefferson County Kids, Inc.; Kate Van Pelt, Owner of Chickadee and Secretary/Treasurer of Jefferson County Kids, Inc.; Todd Reifsteck, Human Resources Director, Dexter Laundry; Terri Kness, Realtor at Davis and Palmer Real Estate.
Tammy Wetjen-Kesterson, Director of ECI for Iowa/Jefferson/Keokuk Counties and Joshua Laraby with FEDA are project managers for the development.
Joshua Laraby, Executive Director
Fairfield Economic Development Association