Commissioners OK new 911 phone system

NEW ULM — Brown County commissioners unanimously approved purchasing and contracting with Motorola Solutions to update the Brown County Sheriff’s Office 911 phone system Tuesday.

Contract proposal costs of $127,482 are under Minnesota state contract pricing. Funding will come from the county 911 fund that has a balance of $481,331.20 as of May 30. Approval came on a motion by commissioner Scott Windschitl, seconded by Commissioner Dean Simonsen.

The new VESTA 911 system would allow Brown County dispatch to receive text to 911 and allow video to be sent to dispatch. It would be housed remotely and have redundant backup. The old 911 phone system controlled by Sentinel Patriot was purchased in 2012.

Commissioners also unanimously approved:

• A 2020 Managed Care procurement scoring/recommendation for South Country Health Alliance for having the highest sole provider score for managed care recipients of Family and Children Minnesota Care in Brown County as of Jan. 1, 2020. Second, third and fourth place scoring went to U-Care, Medica and Blue Plus.

Approval came on a motion from commissioner Tony Berg, seconded by commissioner Simonsen.

• Making a part-time family-based child protection worker a full-time position in the 2020 budget, motion by commissioner Windschitl, seconded by commissioner Dave Borchert.

To keep home placement costs down, two quality people are needed in two para-professional jobs. Social workers are more willing to use these services to keep close track of services to ensure children are safe, according to the request. The demand for jobs like this is due to a lot of group homes and day facilities for disabled children and adults.

• Increasing 2020 out-of-home placement expenditures to $1,000,000 and revenue to $200,000 from $160,000, motion by commissioner Windschitl, seconded by commissioner Borchert.

The change comes from higher probation out-of-home costs than other like-sized and larger counties. Getting long-stand adoptions finalized through the Department of Human Services and courts is a long-standing, high-cost item with so many costly and unpredictable children’s mental health placements.

Brown County has increased prevention efforts especially in schools, in hopes of less out-of-placements.

• Approving conditional acceptance of a $182,199 bid from Building Restoration Corp., Roseville for the Brown County Museum Masonry Project east elevation phase with through-wall flashing installation and repairing existing windows, motion by commissioner Windschitl, seconded by commissioner Borchert.

The request includes approving Brown County’s $23,950 commitment plus the first half of the $18,220 contingency cost split with the Brown County Historical Society for the project.

• Detour of North Highland Avenue and CSAH 13 (Center Street) and temporary four-way stop signs at the intersection, motion by commissioner Berg, seconded by commissioner Borchert.

The City of New Ulm is building a roundabout at North Highland and Oak Street in July.

(Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@nujournal.com).

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