The Marshall County Commissioners and the Marshall County Council met in joint session Monday morning to discuss the possibility of refinancing the bonds the county took out when the Marshall County Jail was built back in 2006.
The bond for the jail project was roughly $15 million in 2006 and $11 million is still outstanding. The county is hoping to lower their payment of $1.2 million per year until 2026.
Several department heads went before the Marshall County Council members this week to discuss some of the items for consideration in the 2015 budget.
Interim Highway Superintendent Jason Peters said that more staff would be ideal for the department.
“We’re minus eight people. That really hinders some of our operations especially come spring time when we could actually be out berming roads. When I first started in 2004 we were always able to go out and start berming in the spring. Right now we don’t have the personnel to be able to pull those people off – the guys that are patching roads as opposed to being able to go out and start berming. I would be inclined to ask for three more positions if possible – two more truck drivers and one more operator,” said Peters.
The Marshall County Council heard several requests from department heads for consideration for the 2015 budget.
One item is the upgrade of the 911 system at the Marshall County Jail. Matt Pitney, the 911 Supervisor, said the current system is at least ten years old. He added that parts are no longer available for repairs and a service agreement will no longer be an option since the company servicing the equipment has been bought out and that company has decided to “end of life” that system.
The Marshall County Council approved an additional appropriation of $50,000 for the sheriff’s budget to fulfill a contact with Quality Correctional Care through the rest of the year.
Marshall County Sheriff Tom Chamberlin explained to the council members in their May meeting that they signed a contract where the monthly cost to provide medical, dentistry,and pharmaceutical services with the addition of mental health in 2014 is $12,166. In May, there was balance of $41,000 and that wouldn’t cover the contract for the remainder of the year.
The Marshall County Council members discussed at length the purchase of an asphalt zipper at a cost of almost $160,000 to come out of the rainy day fund.
Marshall County Commissioner Jack Roose first spoke to the council members and explained his opposing vote for the asphalt zipper at the commissioner’s meeting last week. He feels that a purchase such as this should be tabled until a highway superintendent is hired and not by the interim superintendents.
The Marshall County Council will meet in regular session this morning.
The recorder and the clerk will be before the council to request personnel replacements and budget considerations will be taken from several departments.
Sheriff Tom Chamberlin will discuss an additional appropriation for $50,000 for prisoner care. The proposal was made at the council’s previous meeting where the members agreed to advertise for the money and a final decision will be made today.
The Marshall County Council entertained a request from Sheriff Tom Chamberlin to advertise for an additional appropriation for inmate health care.
In October 2013, the county approved Chamberlin to enter into a contract with Quality Correctional Care and while Chamberlin said the services they have provided are excellent, more money needs to be appropriated for their services.
The Marshall Council Council will meet in regular session this morning at 9 a.m. ET.
Wes Burden with the Marshall County Health Department will request a personnel replacement and Sheriff Tom Chamberlin will discuss prisoner care. Additional appropriations for the auditor’s office, court services, WIC and EMA grants will be considered.
The Marshall County Council approved a request from Clerk Julie Fox to hire two new employees in her office.
Fox explained that two of her deputies will be retiring, mostly due to the changes in retirement benefits.
Carolyn “Avon” Hansen has worked for 20 years with Marshall County. Fox said Hansen began in the clerk’s office and then moved to the child support division. She eventually came back to the clerk’s office and that’s where she will finish her career. Her last day will be May 30.
The Plymouth Aviation Board will be moving forward in obtaining a weather station.
Dave Lattimer told the Marshall County Council on Monday morning that it’s highly probable that the green light will be given for a weather station after several other improvements are made.
Lattimer explained that the runways need to be extended and widened and two taxiways from the ramp to the runways need to intersect at a “T” instead of at a 45 degree angle. The staff will also need to extend the taxiways. Insurance will also need to be adjusted. All of those improvements need to be done before the FAA will approve the Plymouth Airport for a weather station.
The Marshall County Council approved the purchase of a different copier for the prosecutor’s office.
In his presentation to the council on Monday morning, Prosecutor David Holmes said sometimes what you see on the internet isn’t always what you get. He explained that his department purchased a copier online for $7,645 which was supposed to operate just like the copier the department was attempting to retire after several years of use.
The Marshall County Council members approved nearly $350,000 in transfers for the highway department to cover a grant reimbursement that hasn’t been received and is due.
Highway Superintendent Neal Haeck said the money is for the 7th Road project and the federal reimbursement has not yet come in. He assured the council that the money is coming, it’s just slow in its arrival.
The Marshall County Council will meet this morning at 9 a.m. ET in the second floor meeting room in the Marshall County building.
The council members have a light agenda with a copier purchase request from Prosecutor David Holmes, a salary reimbursement grant request from EMA Director Clyde Avery and a transfer of funds within Sheriff Tom Chamberlin’s budget.
The governing body will also approve additional appropriation requests from the circuit court, the probation department and the clerk’s office.
Residents are welcome to attend. Public input is at the beginning of the meeting for your convenience.
The Marshall County Council members approved an ordinance in order for Culver Military Academy to sell bonds to a trust company.
An attorney representing CMA appeared before the council and explained that in 2000, CMA took out economic development bonds in the amount of $25 million to construct a math/science building, a dormitory and library on the campus.
Marshall County Sheriff Tom Chamberlin requested to fill a position in his department and presented a salary ordinance amendment proposal to the county council members this week.
Chamberlin informed the council members that Sergeant Larry Snyder has announced his retirement and the sheriff will need to replace him. The new officer would probably be hired in March and the notice needs to be advertised. The council unanimously approved his request.
The Marshall County Council members approved an additional appropriation for the highway department overtime budget Monday morning.
Highway Superintendent Neal Haeck told the council members that his employees have been out everyday for nearly a month making sure the county’s roads are passable. There is a list available for volunteers to work the night shift and it’s on a rotating basis.
The Marshall County Council will meet today at 9 a.m. ET in the second floor meeting room in the Marshall County building.
Emergency Management Agency Director Clyde Avery will discuss two grant applications, Sheriff Tom Chamberlin will seek approval to find a merit officer replacement, and County Attorney Jim Clevenger will discuss the Culver Military Academy Development Bonds.
The Marshall County Council approved an appointment to the Koontz Lake Regional Sewer District Board, but it was not easy to find a candidate.
Auditor Penny Lukenbill explained that the Koontz Lake Sewer District board members were attempting to find a Marshall County representative but potential candidates couldn’t regularly attend meetings and the other people the members talked to weren’t interested in serving on the board.
A candidate was found, but he does not reside in the Marshall County area. According to law, the appointee does not necessarily have to be a Marshall County resident, but must live within the Koontz Lake district.
With that, the council approved the appointment of Ronald Armstead to the Koontz Lake Regional District Board.