Approval was given for a technology upgrade for the Highway Department and two new vehicles for the sheriff’s department at the county board’s May 14 meeting.
Highway Engineer Ron Gregg explained the VRS Technology upgrade will be used to gather survey data. It helps them access MnDOT’s stations and will be more accurate and faster. The upgrade was approved at a cost of $8,303 as recommended by the Technology/Land Records/GIS committee.
A bridge replacement project on CSAH 4 in Sumner Township, about one-half mile west of Washington, was awarded to the low bidder, Alcon Construction Corp., (one of three bids) with a bid of $261,465.80.
The board approved advertisement for bids for replacement of a bridge on CSAH 1 north of Ostrander. Gregg said this bridge may be replaced this year, if possible.
Sheriff John DeGeorge reviewed prices from Enterprise Fleet Management for the lease of a 2019 Dodge Charger Police Package squad car (monthly lease payment of $536.86) and a 2019 Dodge Charger SXT administrative car (monthly lease payment of $447.34). Both cars are all wheel drive sedans.
Chairman Duane Bakke explained why vehicles obtained through Enterprise Fleet Management should be termed as leases rather than purchases. Referring to them as leases will keep them separate from out right purchases during an audit. However, he agreed they are signing an open ended equity agreement and they are building equity in the vehicle, as they are making monthly payments.
The lease of each vehicle requested by the sheriff was approved. Commissioner Randy Dahl asked about equipping the vehicles with push bumpers to protect them in a deer collision or to allow them to push a disabled vehicle off the road. DeGeorge said there were funds in the budget for the push bumpers. It was suggested push bumpers may be able to be transferred vehicle to vehicle when a new vehicle is ordered.
Former Chief Deputy Kevin Beck noted the push bumper was already included in the equipment list of the patrol vehicle. Dahl asked that a push bumper be added to the administrative vehicle also.
Purchase of equipment and setup for the patrol vehicle not to exceed $17,000 was approved. Purchase of equipment and set up for the administrative vehicle not to exceed $5,500 was approved. Less equipment is needed for the administrative vehicle which will be used by Chief Deputy Lance Boyum.
Other business in brief
•An agreement with Wabasha County Human Services for fraud prevention investigations effective July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2021, was approved. The cooperative regional program has been administered by Wabasha County for five years.
A resolution authorizing acceptance and execution of Minnesota Finance Agency Family Homeless Prevention and Assistance Program was approved. The Southeast Minnesota housing network works through Three Rivers Community Action, Inc. (fiscal agent), SEMAC, and Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota. The program is funded by Minnesota Housing Finance Agency. It serves households that at are in imminent risk of homelessness (at or below 200% of federal poverty guidelines). The program has been awarded a $912,424 grant for July 2019 through September 2021. Dahl noted this program serves a lot of families.
•An access permit for Janet and Jerome Taubel, Section 32, Pilot Mound Township, was approved for access to CR 6 from their cabin site.
•Annalisa Pendl was hired as a temporary summer office support specialist in the Veteran Services/Extension Office effective May 21.
•Updates/edits to the Department Head Evaluation form were discussed and approved.
•Advertisement for a full-time registered nurse in the public health department was approved as requested by the director of nursing.
•Approval was given for a one day training (including one overnight stay) for County Coordinator Bobbie Vickerman. The training is provided by MCIT.
•Trainings for county staff and computer usage were discussed. Vickerman said NINGIO computer safety courses should be a requirement for all staff.
•Commissioner Mitch Lentz was appointed to the Bluff Country Housing and Redevelopment Authority (BCHRA) Board.