By Terry Bailey

The Mitchell County Commissioners met at the Courthouse Monday morning, March 20, to conduct the business of the County. All Commissioners were present for the meeting.
Tony Perez, Mitchell County Sheriff, and Brian Streit, Courthouse Maintenance Supervisor, were present to discuss hot water heaters at the Jail. The current equipment is over 12 years old, well past their expected useful life. State law requires that hot water must leave the heater at 144 degrees. Perez said they are currently meeting that requirement but soon will not be able to do so. Streit said they passed the last inspection but would assuredly not pass the next one. If they get out of compliance bad things will happen and no one wants that to happen.
Perez said the Jail has four heaters, two are 119 gallons and two are 40 gallons, They are three-phase electric heaters. The large ones have a price tag of $10,000-$15,000 and the smaller ones in the neighborhood of $3,000.
Commissioner Mike Cooper told Perez to get exact quotes and report back. The Commissioners expressed a desire to replace them all at once.
Perez and Streit also reported that the washing machine at jail was "on its last leg" and is one step from stopping for good. This is a heavy-duty machine because it runs almost 24 hours a day. Like the hot water heaters, the current washing machine is 12 years old. They presented a quote for $13,786, delivered and installed. The Commissioners approved the bid and directed them to proceed. The agreement with the City of Beloit dictates that the City will contribute 22% of the cost.
Perez reported that he has nine or ten old "800" model radios. He would like to give them to the rural fire departments. The catch is that it will take about $6,000 to update them to be compatible with other radios now in use.
The Commissioners gave permission to pass these old units on to the Fire Districts with the understanding that they would need to stand the cost to update them. Commissioner Jim Marshall suggested the Fire Districts check with the Dane Hansen Foundation because this is the kind of project they like to support.
Finally, Perez informed the Commissioners that he would like to install a drop box in which people could deposit old American flags for proper disposal. There is a prescribed method for disposing of flags and Perez would like to help with that activity.
Superintendent of Public Works Marty Hernandez reported he has a quote of $9,150 for a new pressure washer and asked to proceed with its purchase. The Commissioners gave their approval.
Eric Hamel, Director of Emergency Medical Services, was on hand to present his monthly report for February.
The ambulance service made 41 runs in February. Thirty-five were to Beloit, four to Cawker City, and one each to Glen Elder and Hunter.
The time period from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. was the busiest with six runs. Closely following was 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. with five runs and 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. with four runs. Thursday was the busiest day with ten runs. The average time from when a call came in until an ambulance left the barn was 1.47 minutes. The age category from 80-90 years of age was the largest with ten runs, closely followed by the 70-80 category with nine runs.
Hamel asked for an executive session for ten minutes to discuss trade secrets of a corporation. No action was taken as a result of that closed session.
Having address all items on the printed agenda, the meeting was adjourned.