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County continues agreement with Fillmore Family Resources


Fri, Jun 26th, 2009
Posted in Government

Amy Becker, Fillmore Family Resources, Inc., explained the service their organization performs for victims of crime to the county board at their June 23 meeting. Fillmore Family Resources is a nonprofit organization that provides a needed service for victims of child abuse, domestic violence and other crimes in the county.

Becker described the service as a way to give the victim "a voice, making sure the victim is heard." They protect the rights of victims of crimes and act as their advocate. Help is provided to the victim in all stages of the criminal justice process. Becker suggested that helping in the process prevents the victim from again being victimized by the system.

County Attorney Brett Corson, in a note to Karen Brown, said the financial cost to the county for this service is a "small amount for the benefit we receive in victim services."

The board renewed their agreement for the Joint Victim Liaison Program with Fillmore Family Resources for an additional two years with a cost to the county for the service of $3,000 per year. Becker remarked in these times of tight budgets, the fee has remained constant from the previous agreement.

Veterans Transport

Deborah Teske, Emergency Management/Veteran Services Director, asked for and received approval to obtain quotes on a low mileage used or new mini-van to be used for the transport of veterans. The current 2005 Dodge van has over 100,000 miles and she worries about it breaking down with elderly passengers especially on a very hot day like this day. The van normally is driven between 20,000 and 30,000 miles per year.

Teske noted that there was an account with $900 in it to be used for a replacement van. Commissioner Marc Prestby suggested they get the word out that the van needs replacing. Donations from veteran groups that have charitable gambling would be welcome. Teske said groups donating toward the van would be recognized on the outside of the van.

Teske explained wheel chairs and walkers, which her department loans out free of charge, are in need of repairs. She asked to set up an account to accept donations to fix those that are in bad shape. Commissioner Duane Bakke suggested asking service organizations to donate to a long term account which would be maintained for van replacement or upkeep of mobility aid devices. They could offer to help build the account by so much per year. The board approved the establishment of an account for donations.

Other Business in Brief

• City Engineer John Grindeland recommended the acceptance of the low bid of $707,248.45 from Griffin Construction for work on about a 2-mile stretch of CSAH 27 in the City of Rushford Village. The low bid from a total of eight bids was accepted and work is expected to start early in July.

• Chairman Chuck Amunrud questioned whether the board should form a Joint Dispatch Committee with Houston County. He will meet with a committee on the subject from Houston County in the next week. On January 21, Governor Tim Pawlenty signed an executive order creating the Governor's work group on regional Public Safety Answering Points (PSAP), a Minnesota statewide 911 program. It is intended to increase communication efficiency with a direct link for emergency services including law enforcement, fire and emergency medical services.

Sheriff Daryl Jensen said we have the same 911 provider as Houston County with the potential to include Winona County. Amunrud suggested the committee would be working in a very exploratory stage. Prestby insisted it was too early to form a new committee and wanted the issue discussed in the Jail Committee. Jensen remarked the best example for centralized dispatch is in Dakota County where everything is located in one building.

Commissioner Tom Kaase, who serves on the PSAP work group where regionalization and joint dispatch is being discussed, said they have been using Dakota County's centralized dispatch as an example.

• Prestby gave the final report on the Debris Grant Committee for disbursement of funds to dispose of debris resulting from the 2007 flood. The county dispersed a total of $558,490.16 out of a grant total of $700,000. The remaining funds will be returned to the state.

• Bakke reported County 5 north of Wykoff is expected to be open soon and will remain gravel for two years before being paved.

• Apparently, there has been one or more requests to have native grasses planted along some property in the county right of way road ditch. Amunrud didn't feel property owners should control the county right of way. He said there are safety issues produced with native grasses when they don't want them mowed. He said he was opposed to any more agreements being made with property owners because long grasses can make it difficult to see motorcycles and they catch snow.

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