County to end Sentence-to-Serve program

The Lyon County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday voted to give a 30-day notice to opt out of the Sentence-to-Serve program with the State of Minnesota.
The current STS Crew Leader in Lyon County has accepted a different position outside the county. The state is looking at whether they should rehire the position. The board discussed the program, the time of year in which the program is most useful, the size of crews the county receives and work quality that is done.
The county currently pays 75 percent of the Sentence-to-Serve contract amounting to $72,000 per year. In the past, crews have been as many as 5-7 members, but currently are only 1 or 2, sometimes three, sentence-to-serve members. After discussion, the board felt that the work load is most needed in the summer months and would like to look at using the $72,000 to hire seasonal positions instead.
The board also approved additional upgrades to the Lyon County Landfill. At the Oct. 5 meeting, the board approved the purchase and installation of a new landfill scale with a concrete deck with a cost of $156,766. During their meeting Tuesday, the board approved a landfill scale weighing system upgrade.
The new system will have two kiosks and will improve traffic flow across the scale by reducing truck time on the scale. Regular haulers to the landfill will not have to get out of their trucks and come to the office. The cost of the system upgrade is $53,815 for hardware, software and professional services. The kiosks will be breakaway so if they are clipped by a truck mirror, they will not be damaged.
In addition to the upgrades at the landfill, the board approved Environmental Administrator Roger Schroeder the authority to negotiate a contract with Southwest Sanitation of Marshall to lease building space for the sole purpose of aggregating county staff-managed recyclables from the 13 county recycling locations collected in the county-owned recycling roll-off containers. The contract would allow Southwest Sanitation to take care of the recyclables once delivered to the lease space and non-recyclables removed. The contract would be negotiated for three years with an option for two additional years to put it on the same timeline as the curbside recyclable pick up. The original proposal from Southwest Sanitation was for six years with rent for the first two years $3,765 per month, with increases for the following years.

In other board news:
• The board approved the reappointment of Aaron VanMoer to another four-year term as Lyon County Highway Engineer.
• The board approved a three year contract extension for Lyon County to provide law enforcement services to the City of Lynd. The rates were based off rates approved by the board this summer. The rates will be $51.44 pe hour in 2022, $52.21 per hour in 2023 and $53.25 an hour in 2024. The contract is for 15 hours per week of law enforcement coverage, which is five hours less per week than the previous contract.
• The board approved an addendum to the agreement between the University of Minnesota and Lyon County to have the U of M provide support staff for the county extension program. The position was provided by the county in the past. The clerical position will now be an employee of the University but the county will reimburse the University for the costs of the employee. Funding for the agreement will come from the funds budgeted for a county employee.
• The board approved the agreement for consulting services with USI Consulting Group, Inc. (formerly Hildi Inc.) for actuarial services related to reporting other post-employment benefits (OPEB) under GASB Statement No. 75 for $6,500 for fiscal year 2022 and approximately $800-$1,000 for fiscal year 2023.
• The board presented several 2021 employee recognition awards including Mary Gislason who has been with the county for 40 years.

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