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Commissioners tour county jail


Mon, May 11th, 2015
Posted in All Government

Commissioners Harry Root, Randy Dahl, Marc Prestby, and Duane Bakke and Sherriff Tom Kaase in the room where the dispatcher fields incoming calls. Photo by Karen Reisner

Sheriff Tom Kaase and jail administrator Jamie Fenske guided the commissioners through the county jail facility after the May 5 county board meeting.

The Fillmore County Jail is about 50 years old and one of the two or three oldest county jails in the state of Minn. An addition was added onto the jail in 1995. Discussions concerning the jail and how best to deal with age issues have been ongoing for over a decade.

The current jail has 24 beds. A separate holding area is designated for female prisoners. Kaase explained they are not equipped for disabled prisoners. Depending on the case, a disabled person would even be housed at another facility outside the county or monitored at home.

Sentence to Serve (STS) inmates take care of the grounds. Behind the facility there is a garden area that is to be cared for by inmates under supervision. Fenske noted that the garden is funded by revenue raised in the canteen. The garden is in part for recreation and located outside the fenced in recreation area.

Kaase pointed to an old phone box in the hallway. Today phones are in the cells and are turned off or on by the jailer. Most calls are monitored with some exceptions, like conversations with an attorney.

Security cameras are located throughout the jail side of the building. Food is prepared in the kitchen, which is inspected annually. Supervised trustees prepare meals. Inmates do laundry and cleaning chores.

Commissioners were introduced to Carle Stevens, jail programmer. Programs include education and assistance in earning a GED, life enrichment, and spiritual and religious groups. In a recent class, inmates were taught how to give CPR.

Age is evident in the original building. Plumbing is cobbled together. Original sliding cell doors are missing, only the frame portion left, a relic of the past. The boiler, which may be original to the building, will be replaced after asbestos abatement.

The jail is a mix of old and new. Up to date electronic communication equipment is housed in the half century old building, protected in climate controlled rooms in the basement. Many of the offices are located in an area that used to be the garage before the addition was built.

Leroy Eickhoff, dispatcher, described how technology improvements are helping to determine the location a call is coming from when it is made with a cell phone, explaining that te .....
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The impact of Houston County public hearings

By Justin Zmyewski

Mon, May 11th, 2015
Posted in All Government

The year 2015 is the year of two historic decisions for the county board. On February 18, 2015 a public hearing was held fundamentally addressing the issue of frac sand mining in Houston County. For nearly three hours the board of commissioners hear ..... 
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Government this week - 5.11.15

Mon, May 11th, 2015
Posted in All Government

•Monday, May 11, Whalan City Council, City Hall, 5 p.m. •Monday, May 11, Spring Valley City Council, City Hall, 6 p.m. •Monday, May 11, City of Rushford City Council, City Hall, 6:30 p.m. •Monday, May 11, Chatfield City Council, City Hal ..... 
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Government this week - 5.4.15

Mon, May 4th, 2015
Posted in All Government

•Monday, May 4, Lanesboro City Council, City Hall, 5:30 p.m. •Monday, May 4, Preston City Council, Council Chambers, 6 p.m. •Tuesday,May 5, Fillmore County Commissioners, Courthouse, 9 a.m. •Tuesday, May 5, Houston School Board, 5:30 p.m ..... 
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Rep. Davids supports nursing home funding increase proposal

Mon, May 4th, 2015
Posted in All Government

ST. PAUL – Southeastern Minn. nursing homes would each receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in new revenue if a comprehensive health and human services finance proposal is signed into law. “Our nursing homes are critical to the success of ..... 
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Chatfield establishes new TIF district

Mon, May 4th, 2015
Posted in Chatfield Government

The Chatfield City Council held a joint meeting with the Chatfield EDA on April 27. Alicia Hinckly and EB Allen of H and A Real Estate want to build a “Cabin Coffee” restaurant on property at the west side of North Main St. at the Union St. inte ..... 
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Emerald ash borer moves into Fillmore County

Mon, May 4th, 2015
Posted in All Government

At the county board’s April 28 meeting, a press release from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) was discussed. The emerald ash borer was discovered on April 23 in a boulevard ash tree in Rushford. Numerous infestations have been found i ..... 
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Total estimated market value in Preston up nearly 10 percent

Mon, Apr 27th, 2015
Posted in Preston Government

Fillmore County appraiser Heidi Knepper briefed the Preston City Council at their April 20 meeting on assessed property value changes in Preston and the county. No one from the public was in attendance for the 2015 Local Board of Appeal and Equaliza ..... 
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Wykoff city clerk office security concerns

Mon, Apr 27th, 2015
Posted in Wykoff Government

A special meeting of the Wykoff City Council was held on April 22, attended by all members (Mitch Grabau, Rocky Vreeman, Mayor Al Williams, Megan Lund, Brody Mensink, and City Clerk Cheryl Davis). The only agenda items were security of the city cle ..... 
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