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‘Tis The Season

By Staff | Dec 10, 2009

Maybe it has something to do with the holiday season, or maybe it just means the year is almost over, but the Palo Alto County Supervisors are becoming a very popular group. Several agencies appeared before the Board members in Tuesday’s regular session to present budget requests for the 2010-2011 fiscal year.

Board members also discussed the future of a program for mental health services in the Palo Alto County Jail during their meeting.

The Palo Alto County Library Association appeared before the board to present its’ budget requests for the coming year to start the morning. Nathan R.E. Clark, librarian for the Emmetsburg and Ruthven Public Libraries, was accompanied by the other county librarians; Karla Ellis of Graettinger, Anna McDevitt of Mallard and Jenny Gambell of West Bend, in presenting their budget asking.

“Basically, we are asking for a slight increase over last year,”?Clark said. “Last year, our budget asking was $76912, and this year, we are asking for $77,125 for the county contract.”

Additionally, Clark asked the supervisors to consider a technology grant of $500 per library in the county for a total of $2,500. Clark also pointed out that no technology grants were awarded in last year’s budgeting process.

Under the terms of the county’s library contract, funding is divided with 40 percent going to Emmetsburg’s library, while Graettinger receives 17 percent. The Mallard and Ruthven libraries receive 14 percent and the West Bend Library receives the remaining 15 percent of the budget.

“Are you applying for any casino grants?” asked Supervisor Jerry Hofstad.

“The individual libraries are all making applications,”?Clark noted. “And as a group we are going to apply for a mini-grant.”

After being briefed on some of the activities at each of the five libraries, the Supervisors thanked the librarians and took the request under advisement for budget time.

Cynthia Beauman, director of Northwest Aging, also appeared before the board to present a funding request for the upcoming budget year.

“We are asking once again for a contribution of $2.70 per capita for each county resident over the age of 60, for a total of $7,204, the same amount as last year,”?Beauman said.

Beauman reviewed the services offered by Northwest Aging as the board took the request under advisement.

The board also introduced and approved a resolution allowing Horizons Unlimited to submit a grant request to the Palo Alto County Gaming Development Corporation on a unanimous vote.

In other business, the board discussed continuing the Integrated Services Pathway program at the Palo Alto County Jail, at a cost of $1,050 per month. Currently, the program is funded equally by the county’s mental health budget and the sheriff’s budget.

The program allows inmates at the county jail to receive mental evaluations and follow ups in a structured program. Palo Alto County Attorney Peter Hart and Jail Administrator Larry Ackerman both praised the program, which the board agreed to continue for a sixth month period.

Palo Alto County Engineer Joel Fantz reported to the board that with the untimely death of Secondary Road Foreman Jim Hughes of Graettinger last week, Mike Flaherty had been appointed to serve as the temporary foreman.

“Jim was a good employee, a good foreman and a good friend,” Fantz said. “He will be missed greatly.”