Social Services Director Wanda Berg explained at the March 7 county board meeting that Children’s Mental Health-Targeted Case Management is currently provided by Hiawatha Valley Mental Health in Winona.
Hiawatha Valley Mental Health is managing a caseload of about 52 for Fillmore County, of which about 11 are “county pay.” At this time there is not a signed contract in effect with Hiawatha Valley for 2023. Hiawatha Valley wants to renegotiate a rate, which is over three times the current rate.
Berg provided conservative estimates of what it could save the county to hire three additional social workers as Children Mental Health case managers. Each could have a maximum of 15 cases. Each client must be seen monthly. A “clinical supervisor” will also need to be contracted for about 100 hours, costing about $15,000 per year. A resume was provided by Berg from a woman who could qualify as the clinical supervisor. She could provide supervision, the clinical piece, and training.
The estimates provided could save the county over $100,000 in the first year by providing CMH-TCM in-house and nearly $300,000 in the second year and years after.
Fillmore County is one of only five counties in the state who contract out children’s mental health case management. Berg maintained providing this service in-house will allow them to know exactly what is happening with children’s mental health needs.
The board approved the advertisement for three Social Worker Children Mental Health positions as requested by the Social Services director and the Personnel Committee.
A resolution was approved in support of an application for a Legislative Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) Grant to fix the Forestville Bridge (on CR 118) for pedestrian, bicycle, horse, and snowmobile use. Last week members from the county, DNR, and Historical Society met to work on a solution to rehabilitate the bridge, which is now closed to even pedestrian traffic, as it is in serious need of repair. The decision to apply for the grant is a joint effort to enhance the application for legislative funding.
A DNR engineer is to look at the bridge to see if there is a short-term solution to get the bridge open for pedestrian traffic this year. Until there is some kind of short term fix, the bridge will remain closed. If the LCCMR grant is awarded, it would be used for a long-term fix.
Fillmore County currently owns the bridge. County Engineer Ron Gregg explained if the grant is awarded and the bridge is fixed for a long term, the ownership of the bridge should be transferred to the DNR. Gregg plans to bring a cooperative agreement with the DNR and Historical Society for the short-term fix to the next board meeting.
Auditor/Treasurer sworn in
On March 2, District Judge Jeremy Clinefelter administered the oath of office to Heather Broadwater, Fillmore County’s newly hired auditor/treasurer. She worked the last five years at First Southeast Bank of Harmony. Broadwater has a total of 20 years of banking experience. She sees her position as auditor/treasurer as an opportunity to serve the citizens of Fillmore County. Broadwater is a native to the Spring Valley area with deep roots planted in this area. “Fillmore County is a great place to raise my family and I love the small town, country life. Love spending time outdoors as much as possible.”
Other business in brief
•Only one bid in the amount of $3,055,775.39 was submitted for the surfacing reconditioning of CSAH 8 from the city limits of Spring Valley east 6.4 miles (Spring Valley and Fillmore Townships). The contract was awarded to the lone bidder, Rochester Sand & Gravel, as recommended by county engineer Gregg. The engineer’s estimate for the project was $2,947,173.45.
•Only one bid was submitted for 2023 gasoline and diesel fuel. The 2023 fuel bid was awarded to the lone bidder, Hovey Oil Co., Harmony.
•Travis Batzel was hired as a replacement Highway Maintenance Specialist, effective March 8.
•A request to add an additional RN/PHN shared position for Public Health and Social Services was approved. A request to hire from the current list from a recent RN/PHN hire was approved.
•Approval was granted to add the position of Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) Manager as requested by the sheriff and the Personnel Committee.
•The county board will meet next on March 14.