Mitchell County Commissioners – Monday, August 1, 2022

By Terry Bailey

The Mitchell County Commissioners conducted their weekly business meeting at the Courthouse on Monday morning, August 1st. All Commissioners and the County Clerk were present.
David Dohe, Emergency Preparedness Director, was present to discuss portable, 800 mghz radios. He has ten such radios that can be used by first responders or other emergency personnel. He would like to have these radios optimized so they can perform at maximum capacity. He had traced these radios back to 2007 and cannot find any record of the radios being optimized.
Dohe said the cost is $35 per unit and the work could be completed by Pierce Electronics in Mankato. Pierce's have performed electronics work before and have always done a good job. He said Homeland Security funds could be used to pay for this service. The Commissioners authorized Dohe to have the radio optimization completed.
Dohe also reported he had attended the Fire Chiefs meeting on July 14th. He said the firefighters' bunker gear recently ordered is beginning to arrive. The new gear is much lighter than the older outfits. They also are more durable and provide better protection at a lessened load on the firefighters. This should help with cases of dehydration sometimes experienced by the men and women working in emergency situations.
Becky Snook, Emergency Communications Director, was present to discuss the possibility of her holding an office in a national communication professional organization. She has served for the past seven years as the secretary of the Kansas chapter of the organization. Her term will be up soon, and she would like to pursue a different office in the organization. She said she needed the Commissioners blessing to pursue this new office. The Commissioners gave their approval for her to do so.
Marty Hernandez, Superintendent of Public Works, reported that the rubber tired front-end loader, ordered several months ago, had finally arrived. The order for the machine had been authorized in September of 2021. This highlights the backlog on machinery purchases all across the United States. Hernandez also said the machine cost $209,00 when ordered and the current list price for a similar machine is $300,000.
The Commissioners and Hernandez discussed the replacement of a bridge on the Mitchell-Jewell line. The Commissioners authorized Hernandez work on the preliminary details of such a project.
When assuming the position of Superintendent, Hernandez chose to use his personal phone instead of getting a new cell phone which they approved at time. He said he needs to have this action officially recognized in the meeting minutes so he could get reimbursed. The Commissioners officially went on record as supporting this action.
Phillip Murrow, Sanitary Engineer, dropped by to report on his progress on the job. He said there were several large houses being constructed in the County. One is six bedrooms and four baths, and another is five bedrooms and four baths. Houses of this size require a huge wastewater system. He also reported that the cost of building materials has increased dramatically and there is a six to eight week wait for delivery.
Cortney Murrow, County Health Official, requested a five-minute executive session to discuss non-elected personnel. No decisions were made as a result of this closed session. Murrow reported that flu shots will be available in September.
Council Chairperson Mike Cooper read a letter from the estate of Carlton Broadbent. As a provision of Broadbent's will, he left $55,000 to authorize a Broadbent Cemetery Fund. The will also directed that a County Commissioner and two members of the Historical Society to oversee the fund. Applications can be made to the Fund for upkeep of the cemetery.
Having addressed all the items on the printed agenda, the meeting was adjourned.


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