County secures three grants for radio system upgrades


Sibley County has secured three grants to help fund the conversion from a 25 kilohertz to a 12.5 kilohertz or less radio system.

Tom Phillips, Sibley County Emergency Management Director, told Commissioners last week that a $23,000 matching grant, and two grants without a match for $27,000 and $14,000 have been secured.

The Federal Communications Commission is requiring the change in radio systems by 2013.

It is estimated that it will cost $1.626 million for all law enforcement, public works and emergency services in Sibley County to change radio systems.

Sibley County will be getting the ARMER (Allied Radio Matrix for Emergency Response) system because it will allow all of the agencies to communicate with each other.

The new radio tower constructed at the Minnesota Department of Transportation site in Gaylord is now operational. Testing of the radios is expected to begin soon.

In other business, the Board of Commissioners:

• Were informed by Laura Reid, assistant director of Public Health, about the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment, which is a change to the state’s procedure of examining eligibility for public programs. In the past, a 28-29 page assessment was completed to determine nursing home or community level of care for clients. Now a 130-140 page assessment will be completed electronically that will also look at personal care assessment and mental health assessments, in addition to nursing home and community level of care. The new assessment is expected to be implemented next July.

• Renewed contracts between Public Health and Julie Helping Hands of Buffalo Lake for homemaker services, personal care assistant services, supervision of PCA; Lee Medical of Glencoe for specialized supplies and equipment; Ace Resource Center, Waconia for personal care assistant services, respite care and supervision of PCA; Connect Care, Hutchinson for adult foster care, extended home care services, home health aide services, homemaker services, professional nursing services; Mommy’s Little Girl, Hutchinson for personal care assistant services, professional nursing services and respite care; First Choice Pharmacy, Gaylord for specialized supplies and equipment; and School health services with Minnesota New Country School.

• Were updated by Public Works Director Darin Mielke on the food shelf building study. Mielke said that if an addition is constructed to the building, it would likely be a spring project.

• Approved an application for a Minnesota Lawful Gambling Exempt Permit for Shady Lane Sportsmen’s Club, Glencoe, in New Auburn Township, for a one day event on Jan. 29, 2011.