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Commissioners Report: County Board goes with E-85 trucks

Fri, Oct 13th, 2006
Posted in Government

The Fillmore County Board had a light agenda at its October 10 meeting. Marc Prestby was absent due to jury duty. Last week the board had requested that Highway Engineer John Grindeland look into price comparisons for E-85 compatible pick-ups. Grindeland had at that time asked for approval to buy four Ford F-150 4x4 pick-ups.

Grindeland stated this day that the pick-ups that are capable of using either E-85 or unleaded gasoline would cost $762.54 more per vehicle. Commissioner Stafford Hansen asked about a storage tank for the E-85 fuel. Grindeland noted that they have a tank that can be cleaned and used for the fuel storage for county use. He went on to say that E-85 may cost more than regular gasoline now that gasoline prices are down. Commissioner Randy Dahl suggested that gasoline prices are volatile and that eventually E-85 may be the cheaper fuel. Dahl asked about the expected service life of the pick-ups. Grindeland expects them to be in use for seven or eight years. Chairman Duane Bakke questioned whether the resale value of the vehicles will be more with the duel fuel option. Dahl insisted that the county should try the E-85 pick-ups, and in doing so, answer questions about future trade-in value, efficiency, and fuel usage.

Grindeland explained that in the beginning only one of the county shops will store the E-85 fuel. Bakke stated that if we don't start sometime, we never will get there. He noted that E-85 promoters suggest that fuel efficiency is better if the vehicle is not switched back and forth from one fuel to the other. Commissioner Chuck Amunrud agreed that the four county pick-ups are a good place to start and they can be used to monitor relative values. The board approved the purchase of the four E-85 compatible pick-ups at the total cost of $88,426.94.

Agreement Renewals

County Attorney Brett Corson requested renewal of the agreement for the Permit Tracking System Access through the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Corson explained that there is no cost to the county. The access to the data base allows the court and the attorney's office to check what authority individuals may have to own, carry or to sell handguns. The agreement was renewed.

The board also approved a contract for 2007 with Southeast Consultants, Inc. for economic development services. Dahl asked about the coming review of the Economic Development Authority (EDA). Commissioner Chuck Amunrud noted that there was an "opt out" clause in the contract. Randy Dahl explained that six years ago it was decided that new programs should have a "sunset" time. At that time there will be a evaluation of whether or not to renew. The review for the EDA will be in 2007.

District 9 AMC

The Association of Minnesota Counties (AMC) had its district 9 meeting in Faribault on October ninth. Duane Bakke was unanimously elected to be the District 9 State Director. The district consists of eleven counties.

Other Business

• Jeff Cooper, Information Systems, updated the department's budget. Cooper explained that computer hardware is getting less expensive and that the department will stay under budget this year.

? Sheriff Daryl Jensen and Mike Aske made clear the long overdue need for a new server system for the sheriff's department. Aske noted that the current server is five years old and that the system for back up for files is failing. Cooper said that the new server will cost $10,282.24. The server purchase was approved.

Randy Dahl raised the possibility of the emergency system failing due to an event like a tornado. Mike Aske explained that in the event the system failed, each individual township firehall would then take emergency calls.

Jensen asked for and received approval to sell an aging patrol car. The board approved the purchase of five used tasers from the Goodhue County Sheriff's Office for $200 each. Jensen noted that the tasers were at a very reasonable price and that funds for the purchase would come from forfeitures.

• Duane Bakke commented on an October 5 meeting on domestic violence. Those that attended were impressed by the speaker and agreed that it was a good meeting. Jensen noted the biggest message he took away from the speaker, Mark Wynn, was that different agencies need to work together to keep their people safe and the victims safe. Jensen stated that if they get a request from another department to go with them for safety, "we go" if we are available. Sheriff Jensen responded that twenty-nine years ago when he was in school, domestic violence was a dangerous call and it still is today.

• Dale Olson, Facilities Maintenance, asked for and received acceptance of Ron Laughlin's resignation effective December 28, 2006. A replacement of the half time position will be advertised for "in house" first, then in the newspaper if necessary.

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