Commission increases courthouse security

Posted December 30, 2012 at 10:30 pm

by Julie Ann Madden

Union County Sheriff Dan Limoges presented a plan to increase security at the Union County Courthouse to Commissioners at their Nov. 27 meeting.

Limoges told the commissioners not all departments in the courthouse had security “panic” buttons and some had only one such button in case of an emergency situation where they needed law enforcement.

The current system was installed in 1998.

Limoges presented two options. The first was to keep the current system and add four more panic buttons to the system, which would cost $1,395. This would expand the current system to its maximum load of 16 buttons.However, some offices still would not have these panic buttons.

The second option was to install a completely new system with more modern features and the opportunity to expand up to a maximum of 40 buttons.

One of the advantages of the new system is law enforcement would know exactly which button was being pushed.

The price for the new system was $4,775.

The commission also wondered if this system would work if the buttons were placed in other locations such as in the new proposed highway department building yet to be constructed. An answer wasn’t known at this time.

Commissioner Milton Ustad made the motion to purchase the new system and Commissioner Ross Jordan seconded it. The vote was 4-0 with Commissioner Marvin Schempp absent.

In other business, the Commission:

• Renewed liquor licenses for Dakota Dunes Country Club, Two Rivers Inc. (also on the golf course); Brown Properties Inc. doing business as Alcester Steak House; Dunes Hospitality LLC doing business as Graham’s Grill & Pub; and H & H Enterprises (at Coffee Cup Truckstop). Jordan made the motion and Commissioner Dale Neely seconded it. The vote was unanimous.

• Received an estimate of $7,735 for moving and remodeling the Union County Assessor’s Office, Planning & Zoning Office and Extension Office.

• Received a quarterly report by Women, Infants & Children Nurse Jessica Christensen. The Union County WIC program had an average caseload of 145 clients for June, July and August. The plan is to have the WIC program go “all electronic” in February 2013.

She noted most of September and October was spent holding flu and TDAP vaccination clinics at schools and working in the POD pandemic exercise in Vermillion. They also are auditing Kindergartners’ immunization records which must be completed by Jan. 1 and sent to state officials.

The local County Nurse’s Office provides Pac-n-Plays to families needing a Safe Sleep Environment for their infants. They have given out four in the last four months. This effort is to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

In addition, she told the Commissioners the Project 8 Program, which provides car seats to families, was discontinued in September but she learned the program has a different name and families can still receive car seats from distribution areas in the state. Currently, Union County does not have a distribution site but she is working on this. Usually, they are located in police stations.

She also attended a very informative training on infant adoption. Although she hadn’t had such in Union County, she said she felt much more comfortable with such a situation.

• Commended Weed Board secretary Janet Lingle for her role in the recent Weed Board’s Open Meetings Law violation.

Lingle noted she was now posting the meeting notices on the main floor of the courthouse on the bulletin board located to the left of the main entrance in addition to posting them downstairs outside the Extension Office.

They also discussed whether to hire a new supervisor or to restructure the position similar to the Fair Board manager’s position and have a field supervisor.

Commission Chairman Doyle Karpen noted they needed to advertise for new Weed Board members due to voter redistricting.

• Learned the county had received two out of the three Homeland Security grants of which Public Works Administrator Raymond Roggow had applied. Therefore, the sheriff’s office will receive two more radios, costing at $6,401; and North Sioux City will receive one, at a cost of $3,232. Elk Point was not awarded a grant because their request was for mobile radios. Neely made the motion to accept the grants and Ustad seconded it. The vote was unanimous.

• Was informed Roggow would be purchasing a pickup, with the state bid price of under $25,000 but it wouldn’t be until the 2013 fiscal year, which begins Jan. 1. He also intends to purchase a Mack truck, which he estimated at a cost of $104,000 for the chassis and an additional $60,000 to equip with box, sander, hydraulics and hoist. He has also applied for a 140-feet tall tower license and will seek bids for the tower once he receives the license from the Federal Aviation Administration.

• Was informed by Roggow he wanted to increase seven out of his 16 employees’ salaries by raising them one step on the Union County Highway Department’s salary step schedule. He told the commissioners it would cost approximately $6,000 and come out of his 2012 salary line budget. However, the commissioners took no action on the matter.

• Decided to continue setting aside Capital Accumulation Outlay of $75,000 annually through 2015 for the proposed highway building project. Commissions can do this for seven years and collect up to $5 million.

In addition, they decided to transfer $50,000 from another Capital Accumulation Outlay account for bridge projects. Jordan made the motions and Ustad seconded them and the votes were unanimous.

• Had a presentation from IQBid.com salesman Phil Kappen of Sioux Falls, S.D., who explained the Steffes Auctioneers of Fargo, N.D.’s online auction business and how the commission could use it to sell surplus county property, including vehicles, highway equipment, office equipment and real estate.

• Clarified advertisements for Veterans Service Officer’s applications, setting a deadline for Dec. 10.

VSO Ron Jenkins informed them his last working day would be Jan. 17, 2013 but he would help commissioners with hiring his replacement.

• Unanimously approved a delinquent tax payment contract recommended by Union County Treasurer Myron Hertel. Neely made the motion, and Ustad seconded it.

• Unanimously approved charging non-government and non-public safety entities who wanted to use the new Pictometry Cloud software a $500 annual fee. Governmental entities and Public Safety groups such as emergency management services personnel like fire departments could use it for free. Jordan made the motion and Neely seconded it.

• Held individual executive sessions giving non-elected department heads their job evaluations.

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