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County to hire new technician and work with PRCA on artwork

The new Stevens County Courthouse and Law Enforcement Center was dedicated Friday.

By Tom Larson

Sun Tribune

Stevens County will be taking applications for a Building Maintenance Technician, agreed to spend about $1,000 to upgrade its Web site and has agreed to share a family services professional with Big Stone County.

The county's Board of Commissioners met in a regular meeting Tuesday.

The board approved a pay grade, wage and job description for the Building Maintenance Technician position. The new hire would work under IT and Facilities Director Scott Busche.

The job wage begins at $22.82 per hour and the new hire would be in charge of nearly all county physical plant operations, including operation and maintenance of the new geothermal system in the county courthouse.

The county will take applications through March 7. Drug testing would be conducted only for the prospective candidate.

Board member Jeanne Ennen questioned the wage, claiming that similar private-sector jobs would pay $16 at the low end and $22 at the top end.

Board member Phil Gausman called it an "obscene salary."

County Human Resources Director Sue Schultz said the salary was based on the county's pay equity system.

Busche was also given permission to contract with outside businesses to perform emergency work on county equipment and facilities, if needed, until the technician position was filled.

In other county business:

0 The county intends to continue offering passport services but must adjust which departments are involved.

Legally, the county's Recorder's Office can not longer process passports since it also is charged with administering birth records.

Recorder Virginia Mahoney told the board her office handles a little more than one passport request per day. The county Sheriff's Office could be enlisted to process passports but the board didn't make a final decision.

0 The county will upgrade its Web site through CivicPlus, a site design company.

The county's Web page hasn't been upgraded for year and does not include updated information or images - the steel and aqua-panel façade of the old courthouse is feature on the home page.

The county expects to base its new Web site on on for Glen Carbon, Ill. The site can be scene at The site will allow for new, more user-friendly features, and will give individual departments to tailer their pages to the anticipate audiences, Busche said.

CivicPlus costs $9,800 for initial design and development, and the county then would pay an annual $2,760 fee for hosting, maintenance, upgrades and technical support.

0Contegrity Group, Inc., will develop a building maintenance plan for documenting all county equipment and establishing schedules for upgrades.

Contegrity is familiar with county operations, having served as the construction manager for the courthouse building and renovation project.

Contegrity's Larry Filippi said the plan will cost about $4,222 for labor, clerical work and supplies. The board unanimously approved the project.

Contegrity also has offered to services to help acclimate the new Building Maintenance Technician with the courthouse and other county operations.

0 The county approved a measure to merge the Regional Radio Board into Central Minnesota Emergency Services Board.

The board helps oversee counties' transition to modern communications technology, including the ARMER 800 megahertz radio system that many counties are implementing.

Rather than reform, the board chose to continue working under an existing Joint Powers Agreement for the radio board work.

0 The board and the Prairie Renaissance Cultural Alliance will join to install art work in public areas in the new courthouse.

The PRCA intends to install local art through its downtown Morris facility, and the county will make a $1,000 annual donation to the PRCA. It's similar to an arrangement the PRCA has with Stevens Community Medical Center, said Melissa Yauk of the PRCA board.

The county and PRCA will work together to arrange for installation of the art, and the PRCA will rotate the artworks as often as the county wishes. Yauk said the artworks also would be up for sale.

0 Stevens County will provide clinical supervision and consultation services for Big Stone County. County Human Services Director Joanie Murphy said the county has an employee capable of doing the work and would provide 10 hours of work at$75 per hour to Big Stone's mental health staff. The worker would make about two trips per month to Ortonville and mileage would be reimbursed.

The contract would expire in December and officials of both counties would review the arrangement to determine if it would be renewed, Murphy said.