County Board accepts future retirement of feedlot officer

Gretchen Mensink Lovejoy

Fillmore County commissioners met for less than an hour Tuesday, Oct. 8, handling requests from three separate departments, including the pending retirement of the county feedlot officer, reinstatement of the emergency notification system and a transportation request. 

Human resources officer Kristina Kohn brought forward an early retirement incentive program (ERIP) request for feedlot officer Mike Frauenkron, effective May 28, 2020.

Commissioner Randy Dahl quipped, “He’s got to find his own replacement before he can go.” 

Commissioner Duane Bakke commented that the board has to determine whether the county still wants to have a feedlot officer, and if so, whether there might be someone available to fill the position, though the board does not plan to post it immediately. 

“I appreciate that he did this, he’s good for a year, and we’ll work on it,” he said.

Dahl made a motion to approve the retirement, expressing appreciation for his two decades of service to Fillmore County, and the rest of the commissioners obliged.  

While Kohn was there, discussion was held on updating benefits, including the voluntary vision insurance plan for county employees for next year. The plan was approved.

Emergency notifications

Sheriff John DeGeorge came to the boardroom to request permission to purchase the CodeRed emergency public notification system, citing that the subscription and the county’s participation in the program had expired. The notification system allows the county to send out text messages to residents to let them know of emergency situations. 

Commissioner Mitch Lentz voiced concern about the gaps in Fillmore County’s 911 system and spending 911 funding on a notification system, but DeGeorge related that his office generally gets advice from the state on which things are eligible for 911 funding and what funds are available for items such as CodeRed, relating that the system does qualify for 911 expenditures under state guidelines. 

Commissioner Duane Bakke stated, “I honestly thought we still had it, just hadn’t signed up.”   

Lentz concluded after the vote for the reinstatement of CodeRed, “It’s frustrating when something like this goes away and we didn’t know it,” he said. “Thank you.” 

Other business

Kevin Olson, of the social services department, presented a foster care transportation agreement between Fillmore County and Rushford-Peterson Public Schools to provide reimbursement to school districts for transporting students placed outside their home school district to attend their home district’s schools.  Other districts have made such arrangements with the county as they have become aware of the opportunity, including Fillmore Central and Kingsland, so the Rushford-Peterson agreement was neatly accepted. 

Commissioner Marc Prestby, during committee reports, noted that cameras are likely to be installed at the county recycling sites, as more than recycling has been deposited there – a reminder to people who use the sites that only recycling belongs there and that anyone who decides to leave a ratty couch or recliner is in peril of being identified. 

The consent agenda included approving the minutes of the Oct. 1 commissioners’ meeting.