Mitchell County Commissioners Meeting Monday Sept 11

Mitchell County Commissioners

Monday, September 11, 1017

By Terry Bailey

The Mitchell County Commissioners met on Monday morning, September 11. All commissioners were present along with County Clerk Chris Treaster. Also in attendance were Beloit City Manager Jason Rabe, and Community Development Director Heather Hartman.

Sheriff Tony Perez and Donna Schmidt were on hand to answer questions regarding the latest audit report for the Mitchell County Sheriff’s Department. Discussion revolved around possible changes to how accounts are handled to create more oversight and accountability. This would create transparency with additional checks and balances. In summary, the auditors felt that county officials needed to see a record of every dollar that comes in and out of any county department.

County Treasurer Yvonne Melton was also involved in the discussion. She had conferred with the auditors and they suggested a fund to be set-up separately from bank accounts showing incoming and outgoing money for the Sheriff’s and Communication’s Departments. She said she will make that happen starting January 1.

Mitchell County EMS Director Kelly Hawk presented his EMS report for the month of August. EMS responded to a total of 61 runs for the month. Thirty-seven of those were in or around the City of Beloit, fifteen in and around Cawker City, and four in the Glen Elder area. Thursdays were the busiest day, accounting for nearly a quarter of all the calls. Sixty-seven percent of the patients attended to by the EMS were treated and/or transported. The average response time from when calls came in to when EMS arrived on scene was about five minutes. The average patient age was 61 years old. The most common patient age was between 70 and 79 years old. The service billed out a total of $40,417 for the period with a balance due to the department of $29,329 after payments and adjustments. The EMS has responded to a total of 415 runs this year as of August 31.

Hawk also discussed the possibility of purchasing a new ambulance. Engine problems have been a continuing issue with some ambulance units. A new ambulance will run in the range of $200,000. A new chassis and motor coupled with an existing box would run somewhere around $100,000.

Director of Public Works, Dale Housh, presented quotes for a new backhoe from Caterpillar and Case. Housh asked for a week to review specific information before making a recommendation to the commissioners about a potential purchase. The current model is a 1990 Case making it 27 years old. Casey Frasier of Foley Equipment was on-hand for the discussion. Quotes were presented with and without a trade-in. The commissioners will revisit the issue at a later date.

Community Development Director Heather Hartman presented a resolution regarding the Rural Opportunity Zone Program previously discussed. Hartman said after local media coverage of the discussion, she had several businesses contact her and expressed interest in the program. This program provides student loan repayment assistance with matching funds from the state to use as an employee retention and recruiting tool. The resolution declared that Mitchell County will contribute $12,000 for the year to the program. At the previous meeting, the commissioners approved sponsoring two additional individuals in the county which brings the current total to eight at $1,500 each. The commissioners approved the resolution.

Hartman also announced that money will be received on September 27 to purchase automatic electronic defibrillators to be distributed throughout the county via funds provided by the latest round of Solomon Valley Community Foundation grants largely from the Dane G. Hansen Foundation.

Communications Director Becky Snook said the radio on their second station, which is a backup, went down due to a computer issue and that the radio itself did not fail. What was initially assumed to be a power supply problem was the computer itself, and it must be replaced. The replacement cost is going to be approximately $3,056 plus shipping, plus labor. The total cost is expected to be around $5,000. She said it should also be expected to need to replace their primary unit sooner rather than later. She also said their database system is going to be switched out and served by a new company. She said it could run in the range of $15,000 plus monthly maintenance fees in the range of $2,500. This is a significant savings over the company they are currently working with. She will bring more information in the future as they get closer to actually changing it out.

A Neighborhood Revitalization grant was approved to the Henke Family Trust for Danny and Mary Henke at 210 N Hersey in Beloit for 32x42x10 Morton style garage valued at $88,954.

Jason Rabe discussed the ongoing work to improve or replace the water plant to resolve continuing issues with the city’s water supply.
Rabe also discussed the near completion of the East Main Street project, and said there will be a capital improvement planning session on September 12 in the conference room at the Severance Student Union at NCK Tech beginning at 6 p.m.

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