If a disaster hit the Crow Wing County Courthouse and county employees were forced to evacuate, what would happen to county operations?
The Crow Wing County Board took a step Tuesday to prepare county employees in a case of a disaster or terrorists attacks. The board accepted a business impact analysis conducted by the Minnesota Department of Administration that will prepare the county on how it can continue its operations in an emergency situation.
County Administrator Peter Herlofsky Jr. said, "If someone threw anthrax into the county's buildings and employees could not get into the building to do their work how would they get access to their computers? We need to have an emergency management plan in place."
Siri Johnson, a staffer with the state department who prepared the analysis for the county, said part of preparing the plan is to talk to employees on what they would do in a disaster situation and what issues would need to be addressed. She said questions to discuss include how the county would secure data privacy issues of client records, how employees would access their files and where jailers would hold their inmates and feed them.
A business continuity coordinator should be hired or assigned and a management team should be formed to develop the plan, Johnson said.
Johnson said if the county experienced a disaster and was not prepared, it could see a loss of $1,000 a month in interest, a loss up to $750,000 in grant funding and a potential loss of up to $11 million in funding operations in social services, health and waste management.
In other county business, the commissioners:
Appointed six people to the short-term Citizens Involvement Committee. The committee was formed to define specific county issues that are barriers to customer services, such as parking, privacy, convenience and location and define specific ways to help make county facilities more citizen-friendly.
Barb Simon was appointed to represent District 2. Louise Seliski was appointed to represent District 5. Ray Griffin was appointed to represent District 3. Casey Duval, a 10th-grader at Brainerd High School, will represent the youths. Pat Sharbonda and Ellen Dinsmore will represent the community.
The county is still seeking people to sit on the short-term committee.
Amended the county's personnel policy regarding health insurance. The amendment is to eliminate the retirement health insurance benefit for any future full-time employees hired after Jan. 1.
Heard the recycling bins at the Crow Wing County Landfill are in place and residents can use the bins as a drop-off location for their recycling. Items to be accepted into the bins are newspaper and other paper products, plastic bottles with necks, cardboard, aluminum cans, tin and metal cans, glass bottles and jars and other miscellaneous metal material.
Heard the Minnesota Office of Environmental Assistance approved the 2003 Crow Wing County Solid Waste Management Update.
Approved an eight-hour training session for sheriff employees on Friday at the National Guard Armory conducted by Ridgewater College. The cost of the training is $2,950. Surrounding county agencies will also attend the class and will help with the cost. The training is based on interpersonal communications and teamwork.
Learned that 42 of 59 parcels sold at the 2003 tax-forfeited land sale held recently. The appraised value of the sold parcels was $382,280 and the county made $591,596 off the sale. Fourteen of the parcels were paid in cash and the remaining have a contract with the county to pay off the land in five years.
Approved several of the county's Building Committee recommendations. The board agreed to do testing and inventory on hazardous materials in all the county facilities.
The board authorized the county attorney to begin negotiations with private property owners within the county grounds for the county to retain ownership of the land. It also agreed to establish a judicial building subcommittee to include the county attorney, a court administrator, a judge and a representative from the Central Minnesota Community Corrections and the social services department.
Took no action on establishing a cartway, or an access road, in the Unorganized Territory and agreed to continue the public hearing at a later date and conduct an on-site inspection on the property.
Northern Lakes Co., a land development company in Golden Valley, requested a cartway on property owned by Ernest and Delores Johnson, who live on Lower Dean Lake Road. The company would like to purchase a 33-foot strip of the Johnsons' land for a cartway so it can have access to their property.
The county board previously made a motion to approve the cartway contingent on county staff reviewing the issue and coming up with a recommendation on the best spot for the cartway. However, the motion failed 2-3.
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