Sheriff John DeGeorge explained the radio microwave equipment, which is part of the ARMER 800 mhz radio communication system, is not working on two of the three towers near Preston. The equipment is on a tower near the office, on a tower uphill near POET, and on the Amherst tower.
DeGeorge recommended replacing the equipment on all three towers. The Amherst tower equipment is still working but is just as old.
A quote from ANCOM Communications in the total amount of $143,683 to replace the equipment as recommended was approved to be paid for using 911 funds.
Full-time Courthouse Security deputy position
After some discussion the board decided to make a change to Courthouse Security policy in regard to staffing to create a full-time courthouse security deputy position. Two part-time officers have been covering courthouse security. The current policy has been to use part-time officers. A motion was approved to ask Law Enforcement Labor Services (LELS) for the creation of a 40-hour-per-week courthouse security deputy position.
The security officer pre-checks and post-checks the courthouse before it opens and after it closes. The courthouse is open from 8 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. This will require more than 40 hours per week. DeGeorge noted that some counties only provide the security officer while the court is in session. We cover all the hours plus an occasional evening meeting, which cannot be covered with just one full-time officer.
Commissioner Randy Dahl suggested supplementing with a part-time officer. DeGeorge said there are not many part-time deputies; he believes part-time law enforcement is on its way out.
Lindsi Engle, human resources officer, said she will bring this back next week with details.
Other business in brief
• Approval was granted to apply for the Strong Foundations Capacity Building Grant from the state. Jessica Erickson, director of nursing, said the money will be used for safety, cultural, and leadership training. The grant will be for Fillmore/Houston counties. No match will be required.
• County Engineer Ron Gregg described a 2,100-foot stretch of road on CSAH 12 (near the intersection of CSAH 21) as a tough stretch of road. Reconstruction of that roadway is not in the current five-year plan. Gregg recommended a safety patch of a thin bituminous overlay to improve the road surface. A quote from Dunn Blacktop Company in the amount of $70,642.75 was approved. Wheelage Tax funds will be used to pay for the improvement.
• Trevor Hershberger was hired as a part-time jailer, effective May 3.
• A pay increase was approved for Leroy Eickoff in his new position as PSAP Manager. It was discussed and requested by the Personnel Committee.
• Approval was granted to add an additional Income Maintenance Worker in the Social Services Department with funds from the Department of Human Services appropriation for Minnesota Healthcare Programs dedicated to Medical Assistance. Forty-eight hundred applicants will have to be renewed.
• A motion was approved incorporating Juneteenth Day as a recognized county holiday based on the state option. Currently, it is expected that will begin in 2024.
• The resignation of Abby Borden, child support officer, was approved effective May 5. Approval was granted to advertise for a replacement child support officer.
• Approval was granted to hire Andrea DuCharme as a Children’s Mental Health Social Worker effective June 12. One individual the board approved to hire last week declined the position creating this opening.
• A resolution was approved authorizing signatures of official signers from the Sheriff’s Office on the Inmate Canteen Account at the bank.
• The county board meets next on May 9.