Monday's Mitchell County Commissioner meeting opened with Chairman Tom Claussen announcing a Fire Chief meeting at 7pm on January 17th at the Fire Department.
Next, the commissioners approved a bond from Stan Newquist, Carr Township Treasurer.
Chairman Claussen then discussed the option of closing on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. He said that all of the surrounding counties are closed, and that one was even "appalled" that Mitchell County was not closed. Commissioner Virgil Palen moved to close, seconded by Chairman Claussen, with a no vote from Commissioner Mike Cooper. Cooper said that businesses don't close, and that the city and bank stay open. He said that since the county has never closed on that day, he voted for staying open since the rest of Beloit does, but that he appreciates the decision, and understands. County Clerk Chris Treaster said that the mail does not come, and the bank and state are closed, so it is hard to conduct any business. Chairman Claussen said that Monday's meeting is to be held on Tuesday.
Ed Debesis, Mitchell County EMS, reported that his department was down 61 calls from 2011 to 2012. He also said that in 2012, the EMS billed out $377,379.71, and collected $269,569.25. There was $90,992.67 in total write-off, and 17,813.72 in bad debt write-off. Debesis also said that there were 582 run for EMS in 2012. He complimented the crew on a 57-second response time from getting the call to leaving the station. He said that the average age of patients was 61-years-old, and that 270 were male, and 226 were female. He also commented that the top provider was Medicare, by far.
Moving to maintenance, Debesis said that he had a repairman come to repair one of the cots, and it cost $1,800. He said that the county needs to look into replacing them before the cost of maintenance becomes too much. Debesis said that there is $105,978.37 in the Special Ambulance Fund, and that there is another fund with over $4-thousand, and he thinks that the county can finance it.
Debesis also said that the county EMS' cardiac monitor technology is behind. He said that the lease purchase for 5 (4 ambulances and 1 Expedition) is $85,000. Debesis said that it would be best if they could get 2 now, one for Beloit, and one for Cawker City, so that they would have the new technology where they can use it, and then space out the other 3 purchases.
Chairman Claussen then called an Executive Session to discuss non-elected personnel with Clerk Treaster, and Commissioner-elect Jim Marshall. There were no decisions made, and a call was made to the Osbourne County Commissioners.
In his last meeting as county commissioner, Commissioner Virgil Palen moved to adjourn the meeting, and the meeting ended.
Afterwards, there was a swearing-in for County Clerk Chris Treaster; Sherriff Doug Dougherty, Commissioner Mike Cooper, County Attourney Mark Noah, and Commissioner-elect, now Commissioner Jim Marshall.
At his retirement reception with dozens of people filing in and out, Commissioner Palen was presented with a handmade display case with a model motor grader, which he operated for many years. Palen commented that he has had great commissioners to work with, and got a lot accomplished in his 12 years as commissioner. He emotionally said to applause that he has enjoyed his time, and all of the people he has worked with.
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