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Giese approved as interim county coordinator

Stevens County Engineer Brian Giese will serve as interim county coordinator beginning June 1.

The Stevens County Board of Commissioners approved a temporary pay increase for Giese, who will handle both jobs while the county resumes its search for a full-time coordinator.

The county in the last month interviewed five candidates to succeed Jim Thoreen, who will retire as coordinator at the end of this month. But the top candidate turned down the county's offer, and the board didn't believe the other four finalists met all the requirements for the position.

Giese and commissioners were planning to meet in a work session to discuss the interim position, but quickly hashed out the important details Tuesday.

Giese said he plans to increase his office hours by 25 percent to handle the additional work load. As such, the commissioner approved his request for a 25 percent pay hike during the interim period. Giese is paid $75,000 per year, and the 25 percent hike totals an additional $1,562 per month.

Giese also said he plans to pursue the coordinator's responsibilities as laid out in a job description the board approved before seeking applicants earlier this year.

Giese said he will seek assistance from a variety of sources as needed, and asked the board to offer their direction as it sees fit.

In other board business:

•The county's deputy Emergency Manager, Dona Greiner, has been credited with securing a $250,000 grant that will be used to offset costs for constructing the Emergency Operations Center in the new courthouse.

Greiner researched and wrote the grant that was approved by FEMA. It is one of only 20 projects in the U.S. to receive grant funding.

"I pestered many people," Greiner said with a laugh.

"That's a lot of money," said county Sheriff and Emergency Manager Randy Willis. "She did a hell of a good job."