2/4/2014 6:02:00 PM Dodge County Commissioners
Sheriff's issues to be addressed after Feb 4 election
By Gretta Becay
At their regular meeting Jan 28, 2014, the four Dodge County commissioners tabled a request by Sheriff Jim Jensen to post the position left open by Jensen's recent firing of Chief Deputy Mike Leonhardt.
Jensen has said he fired Leonhardt because Jensen was concerned about his loyalty. Leonhardt served in the department for 26 years.
A group of employees have signed a petition to reinstate Leonhardt but Jensen said that petition would have no influence on his decision.
The commissioners did approve posting the position left open by the resignation of Adam Waletski, a part time deputy who had been promoted to full time in December but was then offered a job in a different county.
Since November, Jensen has been requesting that the commissioners approve changing three part-time deputies' positions to full time saying that for proper coverage of the county and to keep good part-time deputies, he needs to promote them to full time.
The commissioners had tabled that latest request at their Jan. 14 meeting and have not acted on it. When the request was made in November, it died for lack of a second.
As far as replacing Leonhardt, the commissioners decided to wait to consider the request until after the District 2 election Feb. 4. The election is to replace Lyle Tjosaas, who held the position for 10 years and who died in August.
The commissioners approved the law enforcement contracts with three towns in the county. The towns pay the sheriff's department to patrol their streets at these rates: $29,812, Claremont, 14 hours/week; $253,399, Dodge Center, 119 hours/week; Hayfield, $126,699, 59.5 hours/week.
Jensen said services include the deputies and their vehicles during regular patrol hours. He said the towns receive coverage at special events and posse services - if it is called out for an event - at no additional charge.
The commissioners discussed the possibility of implementing zoning services for Concord Township, at the request of the township officers. The county has such an agreement with Canisteo Township and it appears to be working well.
The commissioners also approved:
A $9,720 annual contract with GeoComm for GIS (geographic information system) services that help dispatch personnel with 911 call locations.
A tobacco license for the new Casey's General Store in Dodge Center.
Dodge County serving as sponsoring agency for a 'Transportation Alternatives' project in Dodge Center. Triton Schools and the City of Dodge Center are applying for a Minnesota Department of Transportation grant to fund the installation of sidewalks along County H, County 34, the school property and in a portion of the McNeilus second subdivision. The county was asked to sponsor the project because Dodge Center's population is less than 5,000.
A trash hauler's license for Sunshine Sanitation.
The 2014-2015 county feedlot program delegation agreement and work plans required by state statute.
The appointment of Jessica Masching to the county planning commission to represent Ripley and Westfield Townships.
Establishing the mileage reimbursement rate of 56 cents/mile beginning Jan 1. This matches the IRS standard mileage rate.
The commissioners denied a delinquent tax penalty abatement request for the second half of 2013 property taxes on a property in Claremont. The owner made the request because the tenant told the owner he had paid the taxes and the tenant had not.
The commissioners will meet again at 9:30 a.m. Feb. 11 at the courthouse.