County board OKs $54K+ for software upgrade

By Tara Brandl

As technology is constantly changing, Lyon County commissioners on Tuesday approved the purchase of a prosecutor software package from Karpel Solutions.

The total cost of the first year of the package is $54,450. Of that, $47,400 is the initial system install, with an annual operations cost of $7,050.

The current software used by the County Attorney’s office has been in use since the 1990s. Due to the age of the software, support and upgrades have been limited, if available at all, for several years. In addition, the current software does not interface with the Public Defender’s office, the State District Court, the Sheriff’s office or the Marshall Police Department’s system. The upgrade in software will improve the efficiency of the County Attorney’s office and allow for appropriate information sharing between the agencies.

The original installation cost will come from reserves, first using the dollars contributed to the reserve fund from the County Attorney’s office at the end of 2021. The annual operation costs will come from the County Attorney’s office operating budget.

The board also began preliminary discussions to replace the auditor/treasurer vacancy that will be open as of Feb. 28, 2022. Current auditor/treasurer, E.J. Moberg, has given his notice to the county and will be leaving to take a position with the City of Marshall.

During discussion, Commissioner Charlie Sanow suggested the personnel committee discuss the various options for the position and how other counties are handling it and bring those options back to the board.

“Are we better to split the position?” Sanow asked. “Do we want one finance person and an auditor position?”

Commissioner Steve Ritter recommended the personnel committee get feedback and input from all the department heads the change could be affecting.

They set a special meeting for Thursday, Feb. 10, at 10 a.m. in the commissioners’ room to discuss the options for the auditor/treasurer position.

In other board news:

• Janelle Louwagie was appointed to the Extension Committee and Cody Sleiter was appointed to the Planning and Zoning Committee.

• The board approved final payment to Central Specialties Inc. in the amount of $51,695.24. The amount is from a 2020 bituminous paving contract that included SAH 3 surfacing following grading and overlays on CSAHs 1, 9, 32, 33 and 35. The contractor had to return in 2021 for a repair on CSAH 33. The final payment includes the 1% retainer on all projects in addition to the payment for a change order on the CSAH 33 project. The change order called for an additional 3/4” leveling course to be paved on deteriorated sections of the roadway. The total original contract was approximately $3.2 million.

• The board accepted a $50 donation as well as several taxidermy mounts for the warming house at Garvin Park from Shannon Wolske. Included in the taxidermy mounts donation for the warming house are a muskie caught on Mantrap in Minnesota, a pheasant shot in Waseca County, a Drake woodie shot in Waseca County, a 9-point buck shot during slug season in northern Minnesota, a wasp nest found while grouse hunting in northern Minnesota, an oriole nest found on the Wolske property near Garvin Park and a turkey picture.

• The board approved signing of the 2022-2023 DNR Off Highway Vehicle Safety Program grant. The county received $5,476 per year for two years for a total of $10,952. The grant can be used for deputy wages to conduct OHV safety education and enforcement actions including the youth ATV rider certification. In addition, equipment necessary for the execution of OHV safety education and enforcement is allowed under the grant. Lyon County received the same grant for 2020-2021.

• The board approved moving Abby Sullivan-Appel into the Technical Assistant II opening at the landfill. It is a lateral transfer in the county as she is currently a Technical Assistant II in driver’s license office.

• The board discussed retaining legal counsel for drainage issues. The board has asked for proposals to be presented at the Feb. 15 meeting.