"Veterans now have an office which is easily accessible, more professional in appearance and one they enjoy," say Elizabeth Ledvina, Tama County Veterans Affairs and Relief director, and her assistant, Tiffany Richard.
They are in the planning stages for an open house this summer to showcase the new building which they relocated to in November.
The offices had been housed up the street in the basement of the county Public Health and Home Services building for a number of years.
Tama County Veterans Affairs and Relief Director Elizabeth Ledvina (right) and assistant Tiffany Richard are in the reception area of their new offices in Toledo. They say their new quarters are much more welcoming and have been met with positive response from area veterans.
The new offices are in the former law office of Nancy Burk at 219 West High St. in downtown Toledo. Burk retired last year and the building was purchased for $30,000.
Funds being used to buy the property are from a $10,000 grant to Veterans Affairs received annually from the State of Iowa.
Two offices and a reception area are on the main floor. The full basement is devoted to records storage.
The Tama County Veterans Affairs Office serves more than 1.400 veterans every year. "And that's a conservative number, Ledvina said. Richard and Ledvina said they provide assistance to U.S. military veterans, their widows and families.
The office oversees the operation of two vans which transport veterans to the VA Hospitals in iowa City and Des Moines. The vans are driven by volunteers which Ledvina says the office is always seeking more of.
Ledvina has been headed the office for 12 years. She is also retired after 23 years service in the Iowa National Guard including a tour of duty in 2003-04 with the 234th Signal Battalion, Marshalltown, in Iraq.
Richard has been employed in the office for seven years.
Both are County Veteran Service Officers which requires a national certification required for filing veterans claims.
In addition, the office handles county emergency relief requests. Provided for are needs for food, and temporary assistance paying utility bills.
The Veterans Affairs Office operates on an $81,000 annual budget. The budget for General Relief is $18,000.