Commissioner Mike Cooper told those present at the Mitchell County Commission Meeting Monday morning that a newly formed 911 Advisory Board is in the process of being formed at the present time. The group met last Wednesday night at the Emergency Medical Building to start the proceedings. They plan to meet once a month on a Monday night from now on.
Cooper said the former 911 Advisory Board was abandoned a year or so ago when the available 911 grant money dried up. Since that time interest has increased to form a new group with many different entities throughout the county. The group will include representatives from the city and rural fire departments, the law enforcement, the county commissioners, emergency medical services, emergency management office, a public works representative and a pastor from a local church.
In other words, they hope to get everybody involved from groups that might have a part in helping during a flood, water rescue, tornado, fire, or any other disastrous event that might hit the county. Each of these categories has their own funding that can be used to set up their part of the plan, Cooper said.
Officers to serve on the new advisory board have been set up to serve for the first year after which this situation will be reevaluated. Elected were: Ed Debesis, Emergency Medical Director, Chairman; Scott Davies, Emergency Management Director, Vice Chairman; Chris Treaster, Secretary, but not an actual member of the board. Commissioner Cooper will be representing the County Commissioners. Pastor Richard Raymer, Zion Lutheran Church, will be serving as Public Information Officer. It was noted that Pastor Raymer is an experienced EMT and has worked as a communication dispatcher in the past, which will be a real asset to the group.
"We will be looking at other counties that are already utilizing this kind of organization and will be checking into grants that are available. Fire Department grants would be very beneficial in this type of work to help our county and those around us," Cooper said. Chairman Tom Claussen said, "This seems like a step in the right direction and will benefit all citizens of Mitchell County."
Chairman Claussen commented on the proceedings held last Tuesday to select a Magistrate Judge for Mitchell County to replace Judge Bonnie Wilson who retired recently. He felt all five candidates did a nice job during the interviews and congratulated Debra Gronewoller Wright on winning the nomination to be Mitchell County's Magistrate Judge in the coming years.
The Commissioners approved Chairman Claussen to serve on the SVED Board and replace Commissioner Cooper who has held that position. The Chairman recognized Galen Seehafer and Jim Marshall who are running for Commissioner Virgil Palen's commission seat since he will be retiring this year.
Chairman Claussen also commented on Police Officer Luke Deneke who will be attending a 14-week training course in Law Enforcement in Hutchinson and wished him well.
Becky Schaefer, Director of the Communications/Dispatch Center, met with the commissioners to propose and update on their VHF radio console that hasn't been updated since 2005. Schaefer said it has been making awkward beeping sounds that are happening more frequently. If it goes out they won't have any emergency radio that will work. She said the hardware is very outdated on all three frequencies. They have had a service person check it out several times but it keeps getting worse. They need to replace the actual software, firmware, the hardware and the grade and traffic card.
Schaefer would like to purchase this equipment from the Homman Electronics Co. of Solomon, KS since they have been good to work on it and help her keep it going this long. The company is giving them a $4,000 discount so the cost of the update will be $10,380. Since this is an update and not a new unit they can use 911 money she has on hand to pay for this and it won't have to come out of her budget, Schaefer said. The commissioners approved this action.
Neighborhood Revitalization Applications where approve for Charles and Janette Luke, Beloit, in the amount of $80,253 for a new Morton pole building, concrete slab, plumbing, heating, air conditioning and electrical work and Tyler and Angie Odle, Beloit, for $35,388 for a 30 x 60 Wick Building.
Chairman Claussen called a 10-minute executive meeting with commissioners and County Clerk, Chris Treaster present. The meeting was held for a conference to discuss date relations on individual businesses and corporations. He announced no decisions were made during the meeting.
Larry Emerson, Public Works, told commissioners the road and bridge crew is putting the decking and asphalt and the railings and posts on the Jasmine Trail Bridge today. They still have to plant the grass but hope to have the bridge opened up by the end of the week. This was a pretty good-sized project. Most of the time there are only four people working on the road and bridge crew. They still got it done in 10 weeks of actual work time even with the tremendous heat they had to deal with. Commissioners commended them for their work.
Emerson said KDOT got the overlay done on the streets of Glen Elder from the east side through town and back out to Hwy. 24. Emerson said his department still has mowing to do around the county and they will try to get the overlay work done on the roads they worked on around Simpson and Asherville. He plans to start finding gravel to uncover since the dry weather has actually been very hard on some of the gravel roads. He still hasn't found a used bulldozer to buy but will keep looking.
Emerson hasn't heard any more about the Waconda causeway inspection or what the cost will be. KDOT will start work on the Limestone Creek Bridge up by Glen Elder sometime in November. They said it would take about six months for them to finish.
Leah Hewitt and Carolyn Myers brought in a proclamation for commissioners to sign for FCE (Family and Consumer Education) Week. The commissioners signed the petition proclaiming October 14 through 20 as Family and Consumer Education Week. Hewitt said Tipton has 13 members and Beloit has 8 members and they always welcome new members to join their group.
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