WORTHINGTON — Nobles County will contract with Motorola Solutions for a new 911 answering system, the Nobles County Board of Commissioners agreed Tuesday.

“And most of the counties around us have either signed a contract already with (Motorola Solutions) or are looking at doing it,” said Nobles County Sheriff Ryan Kruger.

The current answering system, owned by the Nobles County Sheriff’s Office and shared between five counties, is near the end of its life and needs to be replaced.

Under the new five-year contract, Motorola Solutions will essentially own the equipment for the VESTA 911 answering system, but will also be responsible for any updates and equipment replacement costs.

The initial cost will be around $28,000, and there will also be a recurring monthly cost, with an estimated total of about $113,000. It will be paid for through 911 funds raised through a statewide 911 fee assessed to phone users, not through the county’s levy.

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Commissioner Donald Linssen asked if the new system will include redundancies in case of emergencies, and Kruger said it will.

It will also include training for dispatchers, Kruger added.

In other news Tuesday, the board:

  • Recognized Laurie Ebbers, circulation/technical services coordinator for 35 years of service and Michael Schei, deputy sheriff, for 10 years of service.

  • Approved a five-year property tax abatement through the Nobles Home Initiative for Jordan and Briana Reker to construct a single-family home in Rushmore.

  • Adopted a resolution allowing some refinancing for Lincoln-Pipestone Rural Water due to a continuing period of low interest rates. This could potentially reduce existing debt service payments by $18,000 to $20,000 per year.

  • Appointed Aaron Holmbeck as Nobles County highway engineer through May 31, 2022, which can be followed by 4-year appointments. Holmbeck has about 20 years of experience, public and private.

  • Authorized staff to replace a bridge between Section 25 and 36 of Indian Lake Township, on 330th Street. The township has already committed $10,000 of the $360,000 project, and the remaining amount will come from state bridge funds.

  • Reappointed Jay Milbrandt and Steve Bousema to the Okabena-Ocheda Watershed Board of Managers, and Layton Gruis to the Kanaranzi-Little Rock Watershed Board of Managers. Gruis’s appointment was contingent on receiving his application.

  • Agreed to contribute $2,500 in American Rescue Plan Act funds per month for September through December of 2021 for public transportation, to offset transportation ridership-related shortfalls related to the COVID pandemic. The city of Worthington is matching the contribution.

  • Continued budget discussions, with a focus on appropriations and requested new positions for county personnel.