The Faribault County commissioners approved an increase for Veteran Services van drivers at their regular meeting last Tuesday.
Veterans service officer Dave Hanson attended the meeting to discuss the issue.
"We have good quality drivers," Hanson says. "These are veterans who understand the other veterans' needs."
According to Hanson, the drivers are currently compensated with an $80 per diem which has remained the same since 2003.
"I propose increasing their per diem to $120," he says.
He adds that often times these drivers work from 5 a.m. until at least 5 p.m. sometimes even later.
In addition, their per diem doesn't cover the cost of meals for the day either.
"I have talked to some other counties,"?Commissioner John Roper says. "And, $120 is typical for them."
He adds that he is completely in favor of making this change for the drivers in Faribault County.
The rest of the commissioners agreed, voting in favor of the per diem raise effective immediately.
"These drivers are very special people who have to deal with very difficult situations," Hanson says. "They are caring people who sometimes have to deal with mental health, physical disabilities and much more."
Commissioner Tom Warmka agrees these drivers deserve a pat on the back and hearty thanks for what they do.
Hanson also shared with the commissioners information about the new Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOC) which is?opening in Albert Lea.
"It opened April 2, and there are several Faribault County veterans who are already getting in,"?he says.
Not too long ago, the company building the CBOC was considering two locations; one in Winnebago and one in Albert Lea.
Faribault County pushed to have the company locate in Winnebago, but the company ultimately decided to go with Albert Lea.
"We are going to support this fully,"?Hanson says.
The Albert Lea CBOC, while open for appointments as of April 2, will be holding a grand opening on April 25.