Chief Deputy Kevin Beck noted multiple maintenance updates and improvements being made to the county jail at the board’s November 7 meeting. The improvements are being made to satisfy state inspection recommendations. The last inspection was in May. The jail was downgraded to a 90-day facility in February by the Minnesota Department of Corrections.
Food service requirements are being met through a contract for meals from B&B Bowl, a licensed food vender. Bids are being requested to replace toilet/sink combos. Paint and improvements have been made to floors and shower bases.
The jail now has 16 inmates; it is rated a 20-bed facility. Four are Institution/Community Work Crew (ICWC) inmates. The state pays $6,600 per month to house the four state inmates. Beck suggested it may be possible to get a few more ICWC inmates.
Beck and Donald Kullot, Emergency Management, discussed the Fillmore County All-Hazard Mitigation Plan. The revision of the plan has been in process for the last year and a half. The last step before final approval by FEMA is the adoption by cities in the county and the county. Cities have to adopt the county plan to be eligible for FEMA disaster funds. Townships are eligible for disaster funds when the county adopts the plan. The plan is over 200 pages.
Beck explained a grant covers the planning part; the county contribution is just our time. The process begins with the creation of the document, then it is sent to the state. When it meets the criteria of the state it is forwarded to FEMA. FEMA has approved it pending adoption by the cities and the county. The revised plan is good for five years. A resolution was approved adopting the plan.
The Sheriff’s Department plans to purchase three vehicles; two for the Sheriff’s Office and one for Emergency Management. Beck said the request will be brought back next week, as he wanted to compare local pricing to the state bid. County coordinator Bobbie Vickerman noted there is $70,000 left in the budget for squads.
Other business in brief
• Carrie Huffman, Auditor/Treasurer office, requested approval of a grant application for funding from the Voting Equipment Grant. The state has appropriated $7 million for the Voting Equipment Grant Account. The grant requires a 50% match for optical scan counters and assistive voting devices, and a 25% match for electronic rosters. The county has 38 precincts. Funds are to be awarded in January 2018 and must be used by August 31, 2019. Any funds not used by that date are to be returned to the Minnesota Office of the Secretary of State.
Huffman expects the total cost of new equipment to be $220,000. Last year $58,000 was budgeted. The old machines that were purchased in 2006 get traded in. She said some precincts are going to mail-in ballots only. It is cheaper for small precincts since they don’t have to pay judges. To be eligible to use mail-in ballots only, a precinct must have less than 400 registered voters. There was some discussion about who should be responsible for the portion that may be paid by the grant until August 31, 2019, for equipment should a precinct that chose to have mail-in ballots decide to go back to traditional voting in a couple of years. They would then need equipment and the grant will not be available to offset the county’s cost. Individual precincts do not normally pay for equipment. A resolution was passed approving the application for funding.
• Changes to the Fleet Vehicle policy were approved.
Draft changes to the Discipline policy were discussed at length. Kristina Kohn, Human Resources, said she has received multiple comments on language changes from the board and department heads. The new draft will be brought to a department head meeting next week. Then, a draft will be brought back to the board at the November 28 meeting.
• Brent Kohn, Highway, requested approval for the replacement of an overhead door at the Chatfield Highway shop. He said two doors have issues, but one is not as bad. He recommended just replacing the one. The lower bid in the amount of $2,692 from Spring Valley Overhead Door was approved.
• A quote of $6,434 from SHI for year two out of a three-year agreement for licenses was approved. This is a budgeted item. Commissioner Mitch Lentz commented that the only way to reduce this expense is to only have one work station. Law enforcement Tough Books could be used at more than one location, reducing the number of licenses needed.
• The 2018-2019 Feedlot Work plan was approved. Feedlot officer Mike Frauenkron said he expects there will be a difference in funding between 2018 and 2019. The county has been loosing feedlots, so the funding will be adjusted down. Some older people have retired and no one has taken over.