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County will not charge for STS use

By Staff | May 23, 2010

Tom Loveall

For the third meeting in a row, the Faribault County Board of Commissioners discussed whether to charge county cities – and others – for using the Sentenced to Serve (STS) program. And, once again no action was taken.

The county recently voted to take on another 25 percent of the cost of the program, and Commissioner Tom Loveall wants to pass on some of that cost to the entities that use the STS workers.

Besides cities, other groups, such as the county fair board and the county historical society, also use STS workers to do cleanup, snow removal and other maintenance work.

“Would we charge these groups as well?” questioned Board Chair Bill Groskreutz. Loveall answered they should share in the cost.

“I am only talking about spreading out the cost of this extra $19,000 we are taking on,” Loveall says. “It would only amount to a $2 per hour cost.”Commissioner Tom Warmka again disagreed.

“I talked to my towns,” Warmka says. “Bricelyn says they have cuts in LGA and are struggling just to get along. They can’t handle another unforeseen fee. I got an earful from Kiester, Easton and Delavan, too.”

Loveall replied that the cost would be spread around, to those who use the program. And, he says, it would not be implemented until next year, so cities could budget for it for 2011.

“Larger cities might be able to absorb this, but not little ones that got a $12,000 LGA hit,” Warmka says. “I will not support charging for it. Some cities can afford it and some cannot. I am not going to do it.”

Commissioner John Roper agreed, saying one city official told him if there was a charge they would not be able to use STS.

Loveall conceded that the opinion of the other board members was to not pass on the cost, and declined to offer up a motion.

“I can see where this is going,” he says, “and I guess it’s time to move on.”

Groskreutz pointed out that one city even uses the STS program to wash its fire trucks.

“I think we need to encourage other cities to use the program more,” he says.