The newly hired Community Corrections Director Tom Jensen addressed the Fillmore County board for the first time at its July 26 meeting.
Jensen has been on the job for the county since July 18. He has been working on the 2023 budget for the new department.
The board voted to withdraw from Dodge-Fillmore-Olmsted Community Corrections and the Joint Powers Agreement, effective January 1, 2023, at its May 10 meeting. Fillmore County has been with the DFO since 1974.
The Fillmore County 2022 appropriation to the DFO paid to Olmsted County for 2022 was $479,406. Jensen noted Community Corrections Act (CCA) basic state allocation to be paid to Fillmore County for 2023 will be $314,235.
Jensen expects the Community Corrections department will have three employees: two agents and the case manager. The estimated budget using taxpayer levy dollars is $174,256, or a possible savings for the county of more than $300,000 over the DFO payment for 2022.
Commissioner Randy Dahl suggested keeping another $75,000 in the levy for Community Corrections for a cushion. Jensen felt an additional $30,000 for a contingency should be sufficient. Jensen believes at the end of the day we will be saving a pile of money with the new Fillmore County Community Corrections. Jensen added “local control is always a good thing.”
More budgets were reviewed for 2023 including the Facilities Maintenance budget, Infrastructure budget and the Recorder’s budget. Terry Schultz, maintenance, described damages from a power outage last Thursday. It involved an air handler in the office building, a 20-horse motor and a failed air compressor for AC. The county will try to get reimbursement for some of the costs from Minnesota Counties Intergovernmental Trust (MCIT) insurance. Proposed budgets for 2023 include a 4.5% cost of living increase.
Other business in brief
• Public Health Director Jessica Erickson updated the board on several grants including Influenza Vaccine Program Grant (funds all expended), Immunization Cooperative Agreement II (still active with $168,000 left), Public Health Emergency Preparedness Grant, Statewide Health Improvement Partnership Grant (SHIP), and Toward Zero Deaths grant.
The Toward Zero Deaths application for 2023 is due at the end of the month. A resolution to apply for the 2023 grant was approved.
• The final payment for the 2022 sealcoating program in the amount of $27,531.92 to Fahrner Asphalt Sealers LLC was approved. The total value of the sealcoating was $680,884.18.
• The board has been discussing the installation of an above ground fuel tank at one end of the highway building for some time. An inspection of the existing fuel system by the MPCA could result in a fine of some kind. The cost to fix the existing system could cost more than a penalty. The board approved a motion authorizing County Engineer Ron Gregg to acquire quotes for a fuel tank replacement.
• The purchase of updated surveying equipment was discussed. Gregg reported that he had $24,000 in the 2022 budget to purchase a couple of key pieces this year. The remaining pieces could be purchased in 2023, costing about $41,000. Funding for those pieces will come from the Recorder’s Technology fund.
• Approval was given to increase the status of Jessica Erickson, director of nursing, from .9 FTE to 1.0 FTE.
• April Bolduan was hired as a full-time jailer, effective August 15.
• Jennifer Mulhern was hired as a part-time jailer, effective August 15.
• The request for retirement of Debra Ristau, eligibility worker, was accepted effective August 18, after 30 years of service.
• Foster Care Transportation agreements for the five school districts were approved.
• An agreement was approved that governs the participation in the Electronic Document Management System Implementation Project for the program being hosted by Kandiyohi County.
• Two policies were approved for Social Services Department including the Fillmore County Child Care Licensing Variance Policy and the Fillmore County Dual License Variance Policy.