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Leaders leery of added cost

July 18, 2012
Jenn Brookens - Staff Writer , Fairmont Sentinel

FAIRMONT - Martin County commissioners have, for a second time, tabled a request to fund an assistant to the drug court coordinator.

Miranda Rosa, who took over the drug court coordinator position from Bev Snow, is also overseeing family drug court.

"I'm pretty much doing two jobs," Rosa said. "I can't go like this forever."

Snow and Rosa had approached the three counties (Faribault, Martin and Jackson) in the drug court district to ask that $2,000 be taken from each county's drug court fund to pay for a part-time assistant. The request was approved in Jackson and Faribault counties. Martin County remains the holdout.

"My main concern is that when the fund was set up [for drug court], it was specified as not for salary, but for the drug court expenses," said Martin County Attorney Terry Viesselman. "Plus the steering committee for adult court has not made a determination. It's not clear where they stand."

Each county has a $5,000 allotment for drug court. The $2,000 per county request would come from that fund. There would still be enough money to operate drug court.

But Commissioner Dan Schmidtke is concerned about future budget battles.

"Sure, it's just a shift this year, but I'm afraid we're going to get in deeper," he said. "We're already looking toward the budget for next year, and it's not good."

"What concerns me is that the County Attorney and the steering committee are not in," added Commissioner Steve Pierce. "We need that before we can give our blessing."

The board moved to table the request again, but not before Commissioner Elliot Belgard amend-ed the motion so the matter would be approved or denied at the Aug. 7 meeting. The request was previously tabled July 3.

In other business, commissioners approved entering into an agreement with CBS Squared Inc. for a master plan for improvements to Cedar-Hanson Park, northwest of Trimont.

The plan includes a restroom, shower building design, septic system, new playground equipment and 18 to 20 camper spaces.

The agreement with the Chippewa Falls, Wis., company also involves assistance in grant writing for the park improvements.

"Most of these grants want a full project, not just little things being piecemealed together," said Martin County Engineer Kevin Peyman.

 
 

 

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