At its December 18 meeting at the Public Health Building in Sandstone, the Pine County Board of Commissioners accepted the resignation of Land/Zoning Administrator Kurt Schneider. Schneider had tendered his resignation to the County Personnel Committee on December 11. At that time, County Administrator David Minke recommended the board appoint County Engineer Mark LeBrun as temporary supervisor for Land and Zoning. This suggestion was approved by the commissioners at the regular meeting. Administrator Minke will review and revise the job description for land/zoning administrator and present it to the personnel committee in January.
The board considered the purchase of a new Computer Aided Dispatch System and Report Management System (CAD/RMS) for the Pine County Sheriff's Office. Commissioner Stephen Hallan, who was chairing the meeting and who has served on the technology committee for several years, told the board that when the county bought the present system, it was the best that money could buy. But that system is six years old, and that is no longer the case. Problems with the CAD system as stated by the Sheriff's department are: 1) The search functionality in the CAD system is cumbersome, 2) the CAD system does not offer dispatch decision support, 3) the CAD system does not integrate very well with the RMS, 4) there is a lack of quality analytical reports, and 5) the CAD is not portable for emergencies. Problems with the RMS include: 1) The RMS is not user-friendly for officers, 2) the system itself is not intuitive, and 3) it does not provide crime mapping or analysis reports. Hallan went on to say that the technology committee can make recommendations, but that the county has no money for a new system. The initial cost for a new system was said to be $80,000 with other payments of $25,000 to be met yearly. Pine County Sheriff Robin Cole told the board that his department could come up with the necessary funds by using several discretionary fund sources. One of those sources would be the gun permit funds, which builds up the fastest, according to Cole. He said that the gun permit funds have to be used for things that benefit the gun permitting process, and that this equipment would be allowable under that defiinition. One of the commissioners asked what would happen to the old data if a new system was incorporated. "That's a good question," Hallan answered. "It's not easy — they can't just hook up and — presto! — put old information into a new system. They don't interface." Progammers would have to take old information and feed it into a new system. Minke said that it makes sense to go to a new system, but there are a few things that need to be put in order before going ahead. Hallan said that the technology committee has spent 1 1/2 years kicking around the question of a new system. "I think we can take a few more weeks to get the facts straight," he added.
The board approved a request by Auditor-Treasurer Cathy Clemmer to increase the publication costs for delinquent property taxes. Currently, the cost collected by the county is $20 per parcel, while the actual publication cost to the county in 2011 was $37.25, and other taxpayers are making up the difference in costs. The board approved an increase from $20 to $35 to more closely recover the actual costs of publication.
The board heard from Tom Paull, a flood mitigation officer. Paull has been working with flood victims in Pine, Aitkin and south Carlton counties since the flooding in the area six months ago. The board approved of Paull's role as flood recovery coordinator, an intermediary between homeowners and the Federal Emergency Management Agency for county residents.
In other business: The board awarded a contract for snow removal for the Pine County Courthouse in Pine City and the John Wright Building in Sandstone to MPJ Enterprises of Sandstone.
The board approved the 2013 salary for county commissioners at $21,208 per year, with a per diem rate per meeting at $75 and a mileage reimbursement at the IRS rate.