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County Board considers more security

By Staff | Mar 11, 2018

Security concerns were among the main topics of conversation at the last County Board meeting.

After receiving input from county sheriff Mike Gormley and chief deputy Scott Adams regarding a recent security breach occurring at the human services center at the Faribault County Courthouse, the board’s discussion centered around the possibility of increased security measures in the building.

According to a complaint filed in the Fifth Judicial District Court, Dwayne Money was arrested and charged with fourth degree assault of a peace officer, fifth degree drug possession, and disorderly conduct on Feb. 9, after human services had pushed the distress alarm button at 412 N. Nicollet St. in Blue Earth.

The complaint states Money appeared very intoxicated at the time of the incident, and two large fixed blade knives were retrieved from Money’s backpack.

During the meeting, District 4 commissioner Tom Loveall brought up the possibility of adding a bailiff to the courthouse staff.

“Every access point you can get rid of adds another level of security, but we still have to be convenient to the public.” commissioner Tom Loveall said. “Maybe what needs to be done is we need to put together a small work group to develop a process and that security officer component would be a big part of the discussion.”

While deputy Adams suggested additional surveillance camera angles and staff training as key elements to improving security, District 5 commissioner Tom Warmka addressed the growing need for improved mental healthcare. Warmka indicated additional funding in the mental health sector may prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.

“The safety of our people and our general public is paramount. It’s a sad world we live in right now, and a lot of it is driven by mental health,” Warmka said. “I encourage us to move forward and keep brainstorming to close this gap.”

After the discussion, the board passed a motion to authorize a work group with representation from the various courthouse offices, including law enforcement, central services, and human services. The work group will report back to the board once a plan for safety protocol has been established.

Other items from the meeting included:

At the suggestion of central services director Dawn Fellows, the board authorized the hiring of Zachary Coxworth as the new parks manager. Coxworth previously served as the county’s drainage inspector.

The board also approved the hiring of Mindy Quitten as the assistant county attorney. She will begin her new role on March 20. Meanwhile, Lamar Piper will continue to serve as special assistant county attorney.

Public works director Mark Daly’s request to sell a used Rosco Sweeper to Grant County for $10,500 was approved by the board.

Two separate motions were passed to enter into Joint Powers Agreements with the cities of Delavan and Kiester. Both state aid construction projects are scheduled to take place in 2019.

While the agreement with the city of Delavan involves construction on County State Aide Highway 15, the agreement in place with the city of Kiester will entail bituminous mill and overlay work along CSAH 58, as well as city streets.

The board also authorized Daly’s request to begin advertising for a traffic marking paint project of various county roads. The estimated cost of advertising the project will total $90,000.