Goodhue County Board briefsFrom the meeting of Oct. 2, 2012.
Board considers contracting with Mayo coroner
For the past several months, Goodhue County staff has been looking for new locations to receive medical examiner and morgue services. The county is currently served by the Minnesota Regional Medical Examiner’s Office, but the facility has inadequate space.
At a Committee of the Whole meeting back in June, commissioners considered joining with the Hennepin County medical examiner’s office. Months later, county staff has received cost estimates from Hennepin County, and a proposal has come in from Mayo in Rochester.
Goodhue County Attorney Steve Betcher, who was filling in for Administrator Scott Arneson at Tuesday’s County Board meeting, said contracting with Mayo would be significantly cheaper than with Hennepin County.
“As long as they can provide the same type of service, or even better, we should explore it,” Commissioner Jim Bryant said.
Commissioner Ron Allen said he’d prefer to work with Mayo, partially because many of the hospitals in Goodhue County are Mayo affiliates and partially because of proximity.
“I think Mayo would do a better job of covering the western part of Goodhue County than Hennepin County would,” Allen said.
With many commissioners interested in moving forward with Mayo, Betcher and Arneson will continue to pursue the finalization of a contract for morgue and medical examiner services starting Jan. 1, 2013. The contract will likely come before the board at its next meeting Oct. 16.
Absentee ballots already coming in
While updating the County Board about the election, Finance Director Carolyn Holmsten said that nearly 450 absentee ballots have already been sent out. More than 100 of those have come back to the county, but some have been rejected because of a lack of signature or other issue. In those cases, the county contacts the voter and sends a ballot back to them.
New technology makes it easier than ever for voters to know exactly where their ballot is at. “They can track it right online,” Holmsten said. The link can be found under the elections section of the county’s website at www.co.goodhue.mn.us.
Holmsten also told the County Board about accuracy tests that cities, townships and the county are required to do on their equipment before Election Day.
“We just want to be assured before Nov. 6 that everything is working and there are no glitches that evening,” she said.
AT&T tower will go up in Welch
The board unanimously approved a request from AT&T Wireless to install a 195-foot tall telecommunications tower in Welch Township.
The request came before the Planning Advisory Commission prior to coming to the County Board, and the commission “felt it was a needed and appropriate facility for the area,” Planning Director Mike Wozniak said.
Commissioner Ron Allen agreed and made a motion for approval of the tower, saying that cellphone service is always lost when traveling through Welch.
Deputy position replaced after resignation
After receiving a letter of resignation from one of its deputies, the Goodhue County Sheriff’s Office sought permission from the County Board Tuesday to find another deputy to fill the role.
“They’re just basically asking to replace a position they already have,” Human Resources Director Melissa Cushing told the board.
Before Tuesday’s meeting, multiple commissioners had consulted with the sheriff’s department to see if the job could be done by another staff member.
“The major issue is there is just no one in house to step up in this position,” Commissioner Dan Rechtzigel said.
The board voted unanimously to approve the patrolman replacement.
Tuesday's County Board meeting lasted 40 minutes. All members were present.
— Compiled by Regan Carstensen, staff writer