homepage logo

County Board hears news of several grants

By Staff | Aug 7, 2016

Grants were the hot topic of discussion at Tuesday’s Faribault County Board meeting, as the commissioners heard updates on proposed funding from three different sources.

The first, stemming from the Office of Justice Programs, which centers on crime prevention, was courtesy of county attorney Troy Timmerman.

“I got a grant to hire a victims services person,”?he said, “and it provides $65,000 per year for the next five years.”

Receiving the annual grant of $65,000 would require the county to provide approximately $12,000 of its own funding, Timmerman added, but the proposal would ultimately create a new position for the county one that mirrors victims services roles in some neighboring counties.

“We use an outside agency for that kind of stuff right now,” Timmerman said. “But Martin County has the position, as do others.”

The position, he said, would likely serve victims of abuse and related crimes, relying heavily on counseling, emergency assistance and other supportive duties.

Much of the county’s proposed $12,000 contribution would go toward housing whomever would be hired to fill such a position, and the grant would require a renewed application after the five years of funding.

“About $10,000 of that county money would probably be for office space,”?Timmerman said.

With unanimous support from the board, Timmerman said he would pursue the implementation of the grant and explore budgeting possibilities for the county’s anticipated contribution. No vote was taken on the grant since Timmerman admitted he himself needs to research it further.

Veterans Services officer Dave Hanson did draw a vote, however, for a grant he successfully wrote for his own department.

Proposing a resolution for a $10,000 grant to be used for assisting the integration of combat veterans into society, Hanson had his request approved and encouraged.

“We have some (veterans)?coming back from overseas Egypt, the Middle East,”?he said. “And this would enhance our services for them.”

An advocate for veteran farmers with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Hanson said he will be the one meeting and greeting some of the statewide veterans as they return from overseas.

Jennifer Nelson, of the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF), was also on hand at Tuesday’s meeting to share her organization’s contributions to the county over the last three years. While she was not announcing any additional grants for the area, Nelson revealed that more than $50,000 has been dedicated from SMIF to Faribault County for childhood development since 2013.

Funding beneficiaries for that category have included any programs that advance SMIF’s mission of supporting learning environments and other childhood-oriented operations.

Outside of the early childhood programs, Nelson said that SMIF has also aided in local business ventures, thanking the commissioners for the county’s donations to the foundation, which date back to 1995.

Tim?Clawson, executive director for Faribault County Development Corporation, stopped by to also give thanks to Nelson and SMIF.

“They’ve been a valuable partner,”?he said.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the County Board also:

Officially appointed Gertrude Paschke as the county assessor.

Paschke had been named to the position on July 5, but her official swearing-in was postponed until after she received licensure as an accredited assessor, which occurred July 26.

Upon her appointment, Paschke thanked the board for its support as well as her two colleagues in the assessor’s office, Sue Cory and Steve Robbins.

“We have almost 80 years of experience between us,”?she said, “so it’s been wonderful.”

Commissioner Tom Warmka echoed Paschke’s praise for the office, too.

“It shows a lot of character to do what you did, working without an assessor for so long,”?he said.

Heard from Central Services director Dawn Fellows on several upcoming and anticipated changes in county staffing.

Cory, of the assessor’s office, intends to retire as the department’s technical administrative assistant at the end of August.

“I received notice after 41 years this is her 42nd year that Sue is planning for retirement,” Fellows said.

On the flip side, Fellows said “things are flaming”?when it comes to the county landing prospective replacements for other job openings.

“The appraiser position is closed, and we had about 40 applicants for that,” she said. “We also have applicants for the secretary for Veterans Services and for an assistant Veterans Services officer.”