The Mitchell County Commissioners met on Monday morning at the courthouse in Beloit. Sheriff Tony Perez, Beloit Chief of Police Dave Elam, Communications Director Becky Snook and IT Specialist Jeff Roberg were on hand to propose upgrading to an improved system for electronically shared records and information for communications and law enforcement entities in the county.
The company which has been used in the past was described as unreliable and difficult to receive sufficient and timely support from. The proposed new system is utilized by over 100 communication and law enforcement entities across the state. The system is called Enterpol, not to be confused with INTERPOL which is an international law enforcement organization.
The upfront cost of the system is approximately $86,000 in total. This includes a $16,000 maintenance fee which would be due in the second year of use with the system. Those costs would be distributed between Mitchell County Communications, the Sheriff’s Department and the Beloit PD pending approval by the Beloit City Council.
Maintenance fees reoccur annually at a potentially varying rate as the communications, sheriff’s department and police department would all utilize the system. Mitchell County Communications is currently paying about $20,000 per year in fees to maintain their less desirable system. Snook said that costs have increased annually and are expected to continue to increase on the current system.
It was also noted that on-site training will be provided to all the entities once the system is installed.
Following discussion, the commissioners approved the request to make the change. The request will be presented to the Beloit City Council on Tuesday evening, and it is expected to be approved according to City Manager Jason Rabe.
Director of Public Works Dale Housh informed the commissioners that the bridge replacement on the Tipton Blacktop is complete and the road is open. A bridge on Palen Road, where one section collapsed, will be replaced by a culvert. A bridge in Blue Hill Township fell in a couple of years ago and the road was closed. That will also be replaced with a culvert and eventually reopened. Housh also said NKC Tech is assisting with cleaning out ditches in Lulu Township for on the job training for students. He also reported on mechanical issues with a county loader which is down for repairs.
County Clerk Chris Treaster and Commissioner Mike Cooper reported they have received several compliments to extend to Housh and his crew on the job they are doing in maintaining roads in the county.
County Health Nurse Courtney Murrow appeared along with Lisa Blad. They reported that the Health Fair on Saturday was well attended. There were 86 blood draws performed, and other totals are still being compiled.
It was also announced that the county Christmas party will be held at Down Under on December 2. There will be a social hour at 5:30 p.m. with the dinner at 6:30 p.m.
Community Development Director Heather Hartman discussed continuing grant funding mechanisms utilized by county. She also reminded the group of the second Strategic Doing meeting on November 29 at 7 p.m. at NCK Tech.
She also discussed a Next Generation Round-up for Youth event. The program matches interns from within and outside the local area with local businesses made possible by Dane G. Hansen Foundation grant funding. The program is a recruiting and retention tool for participating businesses and the community at large.
The commissioners then approved a Neighborhood Revitalization Grant for West Place dba Michael Lake for a 40 x 45 post frame building in Cawker City at a cost of $16,807.
Rabe reported that the City of Beloit is continuing with ongoing projects such as water plant considerations and a potential for regionalization to consolidate the city with Mitchell County Rural Water Districts. Rabe said they are working to get more timely action out of the KDHE to move forward with the water plant plans.
He said the proposed pedestrian, bike path and trail improvements for the city are also ongoing. In a separate item, Rabe announced they have also received vehicle traffic volume data from KDOT on about 40 locations throughout Beloit. The data helps give them a priority list of where needed street improvements would be most beneficial. He said North Walnut St. appeared to be the area in most need of address due to traffic volume, but it may be two years or more before such improvements are likely to occur.
The Mitchell County Commissioners are next scheduled to meet on Monday, November 13 at 8:30 a.m. at the courthouse in Beloit.