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Supervisors OK bike route signs

Board to consider using sales tax funds for project next week

March 22, 2018
Amy H. Peterson - Staff Writer ( , Estherville News

At Tuesday's meeting of the Emmet County Board of Supervisors moved forward with approving three bike routes as presented by the Emmet County Bike Committee.

The approval came after county attorney Doug Hansen recommended the county talk to its insurers about the liability and risk of adding signage to mark off bike routes through Emmet County and meeting up with Dickinson County and Jackson County, Minn., before approving a request from the bike trails committee.

County supervisor John Pluth said, "I think it could be a good deal to connect with Dickinson County," adding that local businesses in Emmet County would benefit from cyclists traveling back and forth.

Supervisor Bev Juhl said that she spoke to a representative from Iowa Communities Insurance Pool at Des Moines last week, and he stated that the county is covered with or without bike signage for the proposed routes. Either way, the ICAP representative stated that Emmet County covered.

Committee member Dale Hustedt said after the supervisors approved the adding of signs, "Thanks for your due diligence."

The supervisors will consider approving $4,000 in local option sales tax funding for the project at its next meeting.

The supervisors also approved a request from Sheriff Mike Martens for the acquisition of new courtroom security equipment.

"The U.S. Marshal's office sells surplus items from federal courthouses," Martens said.

He said the equipment works fine, but is simply rotated to surplus when the federal courthouses upgrade.

"Through my contacts, we are able to receive an X-ray machine and metal detector for the third floor of [the Emmet County] courthouse," Martens said.

The X-ray machine had an original cost of $34,000, and is now offered for $1,700. The metal detector is normally $2,000 and is offered for $100.

"Both are mobile and we can move them in and out as needed," Martens said.

The Emmet County courthouse is currently borrowing a metal detector from Palo Alto County.

"This will speed up the process during high-security trials," Martens said.

The supervisors also approved a request from Martens to refill a deputy position. Deputy Brandon Lamack is moving to the Martin County Sheriff's Department.

Martens said, "My understanding just from conversations is that he can start at $2 more per hour in Minnesota."

The county spent approximately $12,000 to send Lamack to the law enforcement academy.

"Lamack has signaled to me that he intends to make good on that himself," Martens said.

Martens said to protect the county's investment, he asks for 100 percent of the academy cost returned if the deputy leaves within one year of service to Emmet County, 75 percent for two years, 50 percent for three years, and 25 percent up to four years.

"I hate to see him go, but we will move forward," Martens said.

The next meeting of the Emmet County Board of Supervisors is Tuesday, March 27 at 9 a.m. in the board room of the Emmet County Courthouse.



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