Fillmore County has been working toward a number of technology upgrades/initiatives for some time. At the board’s February 23 meeting, several initiatives were approved.
County Administrator Bobbie Hillery detailed all of the planned initiatives which will be purchased, installed, licensed, and maintained through Marco. All technological upgrades were discussed in the Technology Committee.
The data portion of the project including server, networking, battery back-up refresh, and professional services was approved at a one-time cost of $231,588.32. An additional $4,600 was approved for professional services to put policies and procedures into place related to cyber security. Commissioner Mitch Lentz said we are lucky that up to this point we have not had a security breach.
Hillery described proposed technical security measures for the Fillmore County Office Building. Once cameras and badge readers are installed, this building will able to be surveilled from the county courthouse. Because new options are being considered, Hillery recommended waiting until a new quote has been made before approving the physical security measures for the office building. This will come back at a future meeting.
Nineteen sheriff office employees (county issued phones) and 10 other county employees (personal phones) get county email on their phones. Approval was given for the mobile device quote/credit to keep county data secure. When an employee leaves service to the county, county data will be wiped from his/her personal phone. The cost will be discounted, so there is no cost to the county for this service.
Approval was given to purchase two laptops and docking stations for the veterans services office. The total cost for the purchases, which will be paid for out of veterans service grant dollars, is $3,911.12.
Laura Buechner and Craig Popenhagen, CliftonLarsonAllen LLP, reviewed the county’s 2019 audit. Buechner said county staff was very cooperative. The firm issued an un-modified (clear) opinion for Fillmore County on the financial statements. Buechner explained that any material weaknesses have been addressed or are in the process of being addressed.
Popenhagen noted the county’s fund balance as a percent of revenues ranged from 22% to 29% over the last four years. The fund balance as a percent of revenues was 26% in 2019. He added that the separate finance department that the county put into place has been a good benefit. Hillery also noted the advantages of having a finance department. Lentz said it was good to hear that the steps the board has taken have contributed to an improvement.
Other business in brief
• Sheriff John DeGeorge updated the board on the Jail Needs Assessment Committee’s progress. “We are working through the data gathering and analysis process. We have settled on four options and are in the process of narrowing those down. When the process is concluded and we have come to what we determine to be the right answer, we will bring that recommendation to the board.”
In the meantime, DeGeorge and Lentz will reach out to the community to make people aware of the process and the four options; options include outsourcing and closing the facility entirely, construction or remodeling of the existing facility making it a 365-day facility, continuing as a 90-day facility, or reducing it to a 72-hour book and hold facility.
Approval was given, as requested by DeGeorge, for the purchase of Mobil Field Force Tactical Response Gear for three deputies at a cost of $2,655. The purpose of the gear is to be prepared to outfit an officer to assist in a large scale, potentially violent event.
• An access permit was approved for land owner Mary Finseth, section 15, Fountain Township. The access is for a new driveway for Fillmore Solar LLC on this property.
• A bid from Rochester Sand and Gravel in the amount of $1,788,442.47 was approved for surface reconditioning projects on portions of CSAH 18, CSAH 25, and CASH 23. There was only one bid. The engineer’s estimate for the projects was $1,942,133.60.
A resolution of sponsorship and support for Bristol Township in their application for Local Road Improvement Project (LRIP) funds to improve the unsafe intersection of CSAH 15 and 120th St. was approved.
Hovey Oil Co. submitted the only 2021 fuel bids. The bids were accepted as submitted.
• The 2020/2021 Transportation Contract between Semcac and Fillmore County Social Services was approved. The contract dollar amounts for medical transportation services are unchanged from last year.
• The second readings of the Scope, Adoption and Administration policy and the Definitions policy were approved.
• Approval was given to change Breanna Johnson from four year RN to PHN (public health nurse) effective March 5.
• The retirement of James Hamann, Maintenance Foreman, effective March 6 was approved with thanks for his seven years of service.
• Approval was given to hire Andrew Hillery as a replacement Property Appraiser, effective March 29.
• Approval was given to transfer Kristine Oman, Account Technician to Administration, to Child Support Enforcement Aide in Social Services, effective March 5. Approval was given to hire a second accounting technician in the administration’s office from the current posting.
• Approval was given to hire Julie Loven as intermittent roster nurse, effective February 24.
• A 2021 appropriation in the amount of $6,000 was approved for Semcac to be targeted to the same services as last year.
• An authorization for the administrator to sign a letter of support for Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center’s application proposal to the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources for the Root River Habitat Restoration Project was approved. Fillmore County SWCD also sent a letter of support.