Security stop proving to be ‘wise choice’

Meeting for the first time in 2014, the Isanti County Board on Jan. 7 received an update on the number of visitors and items turned away at the government center’s front entrance security stop.

Jail administrator Dennis Valentyn presented the latest findings, noting 43,453 people visited the government center from Aug. 19 through Dec. 31. The majority of visitors seem to be heading to court or the licensing office, he said.

Over the same time period, the security measure, complete with metal-detecting scanner and security officer, turned away or didn’t allow three guns, 1,438 knives, 121 hazardous tools, 67 cans of pepper spray, 43 scissors and four tasers.

“It looks like a wise choice,” said Valentyn of the county’s investment to keep the public, employees and professionals who use the building safe. “I never thought this many people visit the government center.”

Based on available grant funds, he added, an additional feature to the security enhancement may involve an x-ray scanner.

Payment held

The board agreed to hold the first half of the Agricultural Society’s 2014 appropriation payment ($4,500) until more information is gathered on a concern about fair board members attending a conference in Las Vegas.

The concern was brought to the attention of Commissioner George Larson, who relayed it on to the rest of the board for discussion.

Commissioners did approve the first half of this year’s appropriation payments for the Central Minnesota Initiative Fund, $2,925; Commission on Aging, $14,400; Historical Society, $7,650; Historic Buildings Maintenance, $900; Humane Society, $2,250; The Refuge, $10,620; Safe Cab, $900; Soil and Water Conservation District, $13,500; and East Central Regional Library, $187,716.

In other action, the board:

• Set the minimum salaries for the next term of newly elected officials: auditor-treasurer, $41.49; county attorney, $46.57; recorder, $30.89; and sheriff, $41.49. These salaries will take effect in January 2015.

• Set a public hearing to consider adopting the new 2011 septic rules for 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 5.

• Agreed on the same time and day as last year to hold regular county board meetings. Except for the next meeting, which has been rescheduled for 9 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 21, board meetings will be held at 9 a.m. on the first and third Wednesdays of the month.

• Ratified the hire of four part-time correctional officers.

• Approved the Isanti County News as the official newspaper for Isanti County.

• Approved the purchase of two 2014 Ford SUV/Explorers as police pursuit vehicles for the sheriff’s office. The total cost: up to $51,993. Commissioners also deemed a 2004 Ford Crown Victoria as surplus and sell at public auction.