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Fillmore County Board approves new ID system


Fri, Jul 27th, 2007
Posted in Government

PRESTON - Three department heads lobbied the county board asking them to invest in new equipment for printing more secure ID cards for county employees at their July 24 meeting. Deborah Teske, Veteran Services/Emergency Management, explained the advantages of an easily validated, difficult to counterfeit, durable card. Cards can have the employee's picture, signature, and holographic overlays. The system includes card design software, a printer with a special four color ribbon and a bar code reader. The system can be linked to a personnel database for easy access to information. Teske argued that it will also be a more acceptable form of identification at high security federal buildings.

Sheriff Daryl Jensen added that the system will enable him to produce durable gun carrying permits. He noted that most of the current permits were issued in 2003 shortly after the right to carry bill was made state law. The permits will need to be renewed after five years. He explained that he will use the system for more durable permit cards and to improve the integrity of the permitting process. His office will pay for half the cost of the system. He suggested that county personnel have been laughed at because of the quality of their present ID cards.

Sharon Serfling, Public Health, said that a better ID system is needed for emergencies. Her department has grant money that will be included to pay for the system. She insisted that county employees in her department need name tags when they enter people's homes. Serfling encouraged the board to get the best system on the market while grant funds are available. She suggested that cards could also be produced for volunteers in an emergency.

Commissioner Chuck Amunrud stated that the county needs a standard for all its employees. He added that it might be good to make it a policy to wear an ID. Jensen agreed that citizens coming to the courthouse would be able to find someone to answer questions if they could better identify employees.

Sheriff Jensen said that his current ID card costs $7 from a supplier. With this system the county can make their own cards for 61 cents each and can change or add information to them easily.

The board approved the purchase of the equipment and a bar code reader from Alpha Card, Portland, Oregon, for a total of $3796.

2008 Budgets

The board heard from several departments on their proposed preliminary budgets for 2008. Board members reviewed the reports with a critical eye and compared each to previous budgets and actual expenses year to date. They whittled away a little here and a little there when feasible.

Terry Schultz, Facilities Maintenance, expects a ten percent increase in electricity and gas costs. Karen Brown, County Coordinator, predicted that there could be a fifteen percent increase in health care costs. James Attwood, Court Administrator, expects a significant increase in dollars needed for court appointed attorneys this next year.

Library Funding

Commissioner Amunrud said that Fillmore County's contribution to SELCO for its libraries was discussed at a recent subcommittee meeting. SELCO is requesting a 30% increase over three years. Commissioner Duane Bakke explained that they weigh rural usage versus city usage. He said that SELCO is trying to get the county to kick in for the rural usage percentage. Amunrud said that the subcommittee is proposing an 8% increase the first year, and a 5% increase each of the following years or possibly 8%, 5%, and 3%. Chairman Marc Prestby felt it should be 7%, 5%, and 3%.

Bakke insisted Fillmore County is very generous compared to other regional counties including Dodge, Houston, and Winona. He noted that the county is already supporting the libraries at a rate almost double the afore listed counties. Prestby said that SELCO has an agreement with Houston County for 8%, 3%, and 3%. All contributed funds to SELCO are used in the county of origin. Bakke suggested that the board send a letter to SELCO pointing out that the county is already doing an excellent job supporting its libraries. Amunrud added that they will continue to support the libraries in the county, but that they must be reasonable.

Zoning

Norman Craig, Zoning, asked the board to consider a resolution for a feedlot expansion for Jon Johnson in Fountain Township. He noted that this is a well managed dairy and Johnson wants to expand to a 700 animal unit. Planning and Zoning recommends approval of the expansion with no conditions added. He noted that there were no public comments at the meeting and no phone calls from the public. The resolution was approved.

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