Mitchell County Commissioners Briefed On Local SRT

The Mitchell County Commissioners met on Monday morning, August 28. Mitchell County Sheriff Tony Perez appeared with Deputy Luke Deneke to discuss the North Central Kansas Special Operations Response Team (SRT). Deneke explained the function of the SRT and how it is determined if and when they should respond to the scene of an incident.

The SRT is comprised of law enforcement officers and two medical professionals from a six-county area including Mitchell, Osborne, Jewell, Smith, Clay, and Ottawa Counties. There are currently 12 SRT members, which is three members shy of what is considered a full team. The local SRT leader is Osborne County Undersheriff Scottie Becker. Deneke has been training with the team since early 2016, and he said 90 percent of their funding for equipment and training is provided by grants via the Department of Homeland Security. The local SRT is on-call 24 hours a day.

Deneke was asked what capabilities and training the SRT unit possesses which go beyond the typical ability of a standard law enforcement presence.

The commissioners moved to approve and sign the North Central Regional SRT Standard Operating Procedures and Inter-local Mutual Aid Agreement as presented by Sheriff Perez who signed the document as well.

Community Development Director Heather Hartman discussed how some recent grant awards from the Dane G. Hansen Foundation were being utilized. Fifteen Automatic Electronic Defibrillators are being provided at 50 percent of the total cost for fire departments, the sheriff’s department and city offices throughout the county. The entities receiving funding for the AED devices will provide half of the approximate $1,300 cost per unit.

Beloit City Manager Jason Rabe was on hand and thanked the commissioners for county resources including equipment and manpower utilized in work performed last week on North Walnut Street in Beloit.

Discussion continued about the Little Red Schoolhouse located at the roadside park on the south side of Hwy. 24 in Beloit. There seems to be interest in preserving the structure, but little in terms of those willing to perform the needed work. Costs are expected to run in the range of at least $20,000, and that price tag could be considerably higher according to a City of Beloit official. Rabe said discussions on what direction to take on the issue will take place at next week’s city council meeting on Tuesday.

Nicole McDaniel from the North Central Regional Planning Commission appeared to further discuss her work on a grant application which will help fund exterior courthouse renovations if awarded. There is about $700,000 available in grants, but she expects there will be three to four million dollars in applications for those funds. McDaniel said applications due in November, and will be awarded in February. She said the project has an estimated completion date of October of 2018. The commissioners will submit a letter of support for the application, and have stated that the project will be funded in-full by the county if they are not awarded grant funding. The grant would save the county approximately $70,000. The work will be performed by Mid-Continental Restoration of Fort Scott, Kan.

The commissioners then approved a pair of Neighborhood Revitalization grants to Michael Brummer in USD 273 at 518 E. Court in Beloit for new home at $270,985, and Lesage Designs in USD 273 at 812 N. Hersey for a new home in Lots 3 and 4 of the North Campus addition in Beloit for $230,000.

Kathy Webster of Pawnee Mental Health appeared before the commissioners with a proclamation declaring the month of September as Recover Month for substance abuse awareness with the declaration that people can and do recover from addiction with the proper assistance.