County to provide EM director with vehicleWORTHINGTON — Nobles County commissioners on Tuesday approved a request from Emergency Management Director Joyce Jacobs to use a county-provided vehicle for emergency response.
By: Julie Buntjer, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — Nobles County commissioners on Tuesday approved a request from Emergency Management Director Joyce Jacobs to use a county-provided vehicle for emergency response.
Jacobs would drive the vehicle to and from work each day, as well as for trainings and emergency response. Nobles County Sheriff Kent Wilkening offered to provide the EM director with a Dodge Durango that is up for replacement in the sheriff’s department. The vehicle has approximately 90,000 miles on it.
“If I have this vehicle designated for emergency management, I could be ready to roll should we have a disaster,” Jacobs said. Currently, she uses her personal vehicle for emergency response, and has to load and unload boxes between personal and job-related tasks.
Interim Nobles County Administrator Vijay Sethi suggested that in the future, it would be a good idea for the EM department to budget for a vehicle.
“We rotate our vehicles through about every four years,” Wilkening said. “If I have another vehicle that is suitable for emergency management, I’m not opposed to transferring it over to emergency management.”
Jacobs said she will put gas money in for the equivalent of what it costs to drive the vehicle between home and work each day.
In other business, commissioners:
- Approved a new county emergency action plan, which takes the place of the emergency evacuation procedures policy and adds in new policies for active shooter and hazardous material scenarios. Jacobs said as alert systems are replaced in the county, new technology and alternative ways to get messages to employees for notifications — such as severe weather, fire or active shooter alerts — will be examined.
- Approved a $10,000 Next Gen 911 grant contract with the state of Minnesota. The funds will be used to offset some of the costs the sheriff’s department will incur for switching to the Next Gen system.
- Approved a contract renewal with Joel Wiltrout, of Ahlquist & Wiltrout, to handle cases on an as-needed basis for the county attorney’s office. The contract specifies Wiltrout will be given approximately five cases per month.
- Approved payment of $45,512.81 to Vetter-Johnson Architects for the Nobles County energy efficiency improvement projects.
- Approved payment of $18,828.04 to Engineering Design Initiative for mechanical commissioning services.
- Approved the first quarter appropriation of $7,595.55 to RSVP.
- Approved the reclassification of the Community Services (human services and public health) director position to include responsibilities for health services. The reclassification results in a higher grade, and more pay for the director. The reclassification will be retroactive to Oct. 1, 2012.
- Was introduced to Angelo Torres, the new IT director hired by Nobles County.
- Appointed Deb Mitchell to a three-year term on the Nobles County Extension Committee, and appointed Jerri Schettler, Jacob Holck, Joanne Bartosh and Terri Janssen to the Community Services Advisory Committee.
- Thanked Sethi for his service as interim county administrator. There will be a farewell event from 2:30 to 4 p.m. today in his honor. Sethi’s last day with Nobles County will be Feb. 27.
“I really appreciate the opportunity that you’ve given me to come and be a part of the process here,” Sethi told commissioners via phone on Tuesday. He wasn’t able to make it to the meeting because of hazardous road conditions near his hometown of Moorhead.
“We’ve done a remarkable job of developing a foundation to move forward in a positive and respectful manner,” he added. “I think the management team has really done a heck of a lot of work.”
Daily Globe Reporter Julie Buntjer may be reached at 376-7330.