County employees agree to three furlough days

By Greg Hunt

In a move which could save Isanti county a projected $135,000, union employees and the county board agreed to three furlough (unpaid) days off this year, with the resolution given approval at the April 20 Isanti County Board meeting.

The dates selected by the two unions in the recent collective bargaining agreement are all Fridays preceding major holiday weekends: May 27, July 2 and Sept. 2. Other than the Sheriff’s office & Jail, Court Administrators office and Heartland Express, county offices will not be open for public business during those dates.

This move, seen in other municipalities in recent years, allows cuts in operating budgets while preserving as many county jobs as possible.


Medical Examiner’s death report

Dr. A. Quinn Strobl, Chief M.E. of the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office, gave her 2010 annual report to the board at Wednesday’s meeting. There were 174 deaths in the county last year, with 65 occurring at a registered hospice. The Medical Examiner’s Office assumed jurisdiction on 32 cases overall, with 25 autopsies performed.

Twelve people died in motor vehicle-related incidents, including six in the one Hwy. 95 accident one year ago this week. Seven people died in non-motor vehicle related incidents, including three elderly individuals who died from falls and a 40-year-old man who died when an elevated crane tipped over. Two deaths were attributable to suicide.

The only death classified as a homicide in the county last year was Dep. Chris Dewey’s who passed away in his home county after he was shot while working on duty in Mahnomen County.

Chairman Larry Southerland expressed the board’s gratefulness for the thorough and professional job Midwest Medical Examiner’s has performed for the county.

Seat Belt Awareness Day

Sheriff Russ Monson announced that May 6 will be “Seat Belt Awareness Day” in the county. It will be held roughly one year after the aforementioned Hwy. 95 accident claimed six lives and also one day prior to the Cambridge-Isanti H.S. Prom. The day highlights law enforcement’s commitment to the state’s “Click it or Ticket” efforts.

In other action, the board:

• Approved Heartland Express Director Craig Rempp’s request for garage door replacement at the downtown Cambridge central garage, at a cost of $6,570 (covered under the remodeling bonds). The need arose after two bus collisions with present doors occurred in the past year.

– Next meeting: Wednesday, May 4, 9 a.m.