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BREAKING NEWS

New furniture, computers for jail

By Staff | Mar 14, 2009

This jail supervisory pod area will be the site of a third dispatch area, to be used by a jailer if necessary.

There won’t be a lot of items to move when the new Faribault County Law Enforcement Center opens for business next month.

The reason is that all new furniture and equipment is being ordered for the center.

Sheriff Mike Gormley got the go-ahead to begin ordering the items from the Faribault County Board at their last meeting.

On the list is $75,680.30 for office furniture which was ordered from General Office Products.

Gormley told the commissioners that the bid from G.O.P. was less than another bid which was refurbished furniture.

Also included was $1,500 for in-house speakers ordered from BEVCOMM, $11,191.60 for computers, and $1,200 for monitors.

That total, $89,571.90, will come out of an FFE (furniture, fixtures and equipment) budget of $300,000. That amount was budgeted by the board at the time the new jail project was first started. This is the first expenditure out of the $300,000 budget, Gormley adds.

Gormley also got the OK to proceed with the dispatch area furniture and equipment.The Alpha Wireless dispatch equipment will cost $83,963.98, Gormley reported. The workstations in the dispatch area will cost $25,745.04.

The new computers for this area will run $13,429.92, with $7,800 for the monitors.

That total is $130,938.94.

These expenditures will come out of the Emergency-911 budget. That budget has close to $250,000 accruing in it, Gormley says.

“These funds can only be spent on 911 related items, such as the dispatch equipment,” he explains.

Gormley says the cost of the computers was estimated high, and could come in lower.

“We are getting 21 new computers to replace the ones we have now,” he said. The current equipment includes items the department got for free from the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension in St. Paul.

Gormley says there will actually be three dispatch stations in the new center.

“There will be a main one in the dispatch room, along with a backup next to it,” he said. “In addition, there will be a third station in the jail pod area, so the jailer on duty could also take calls – if needed – without leaving his or her station.”

Gormley says this third station could save up to four staff members who would be needed without it.

The sheriff also discussed a new plan for health care for the prisoners in the new LEC.

Gormley says the insurance is through Advanced Correctional Healthcare company. The annual fee is $35,541, and covers such items as physician services, nurses, drugs, mental health services and medical supplies.

The county budgets $40,000 each year for this expense, County Auditor John Thompson told the board. However, he added, some years it has actually cost as much as $80,000.

“This new company’s plan should let us get a handle on this cost,” Gormley told the board. “They also will not raise the premium cost over 3 percent each year for five years.”

Gormley’s final request to the board had to do with the purchase of a 1994 Suzuki 4×4 mini-truck.

That cost would be $7,500 which would be totally covered by a grant from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which the sheriff applied for last year..

“It is one of those ‘use it or lose it’ grants,” Gormley said. The board voted to authorize the purchase, with all voting aye except for Commissioner Butch Erichsrud. Erichsrud said he felt uncomfortable using the grant for the truck, when there will be budget cuts coming in other departments.