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County Board in brief

Fri, Jan 26th, 2007
Posted in Government

Treasurer Balances

Auditor/Treasurer Shirl Boelter presented and received approval for the designated and reserve balances as of December 31, 2006. Boelter questioned the board about the nearly one million dollars in the building fund balance. Bakke and Amunrud asked what number would be acceptable to the auditor as undesignated in the building fund. Amunrud noted the condition of the county jail. Bakke suggested that eventually state inspectors will dictate what will happen to the jail. Bakke and Dahl agreed that levees spread over several years for planned improvements is a good idea.

Citizen Input

Loren Schmidt discussed his experience with the County Zoning Department and a building permit belatedly applied for back in June. He had sent his kid in to apply for the permit when he realized he had forgotten to do so and they admitted starting the project before the permit was applied for, let alone in hand as required. Schmidt in good humor wasn't disputing the $250 fine, but questioned the process. Dahl compared enforcing zoning regulations with enforcing speed limits. There are not enough enforcement people to make everyone obey. Dahl continued that in order for the laws to work, we have to rely on the people's honesty and good intentions. Schmidt agreed that there would be chaos without regulations. He questioned whether the fine was even high enough for some large projects.

Temperature Control

Terry Schultz, Maintenance, related his hourly task of manually adjusting temperature in certain areas of the courthouse. He explained that it takes a lot of time from his other duties. Chuck Amunrud said that the system needs to be fixed. He insisted that the valves weren't installed properly by the DM & C or their subcontractors. The plans and design were not followed. The county has held back $5200 from the final payment to the DM & C, the general contractor. Amunrud said that the contractor had created a short cut which is not allowing for the computer to properly regulate temperature in the building.

County Attorney Corson agreed that they had a legitimate position. He suggested contacting all the parties involved and entering into a negotiation before taking legal action. By consensus the board agreed to have Corson bring the parties together for negotiations. Payment will continue to be withheld.

NACo Resolution

The board passed a resolution put forth by the National Association of Counties asking the United States Congress to "amend necessary federal statutes to allow federal financial participation for medical benefits to incarcerated individuals until convicted and sentenced to secure detention." Duane Bakke explained that federal assistance in the form of Medicaid or Medicare ceases when an eligible individual is jailed without being convicted. Once the individual is released, he can reapply for benefits which can take up to 90 days. During the time in jail awaiting trial and while waiting for benefits to be restored after release, the county is responsible for medical care, at significant cost to the county. The resolution asks that federal benefits continue until an individual is convicted of a crime and becomes a ward of the state or the county.

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