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County Board Meets, Informed HACTC Compliant with PREA

By Staff | Sep 4, 2015

Heart of America Correctional & Treatment Center Administrator Mike Graner informed the Pierce County Board of County Commissioners at its regular meeting Tuesday that the facility is in 100 percent compliance with standards set in place by the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003.

Graner informed the board that HACTC was audited during an on-site tour Aug. 17-19, and a PREA auditor interviewed inmates and facility personnel. Graner said that most good facilities, by comparison, could be in 50 percent compliance.

Facilities that do not meet PREA standards must then jointly develop a corrective action plan with the auditor and must verify implementation of the plan, issue a final determination and complete a final audit report within 180 days. Facilities can lodge an appeal of the auditor’s decision with the U.S. Department of Justice within 90 days after the auditor issues the final report. A re-audit would then be done, one limited to the standards that are the subject of the appeal and at cost to the facility. If the appeal is successful, the findings of the re-audit are considered final. All final reports are posted to the facility’s website, if it has one.

Graner said the month of August was one of audits, as HACTC is currently awaiting the results of an inspection from the Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation.

Graner also informed the board that the DOCR will start housing 35-40 male prisoners and start moving female prisoners currently at HACTC as early as October. The DOCR prisoners would be housed at a cost of $70 per day, however Graner said he is working on a contract that would increase that amount by four percent each year. The potential contract would also lower the medical costs HACTC is responsible for from the first $150 to the first $50.

Sandpiper Hits Snag

The board met with Patrick Dechant, N.D. Pipeline Company LLC, and Rob Black, construction manager for the Sandpiper Pipeline project. The board approved their request to use 68th St NE to move equipment, as the area the pipeline would cross through between Dewey and Walsh townships is loaded with wetlands. The company would be responsible for road maintenance and reconstruction to the way the road was or better.

Vote By Mail Approved

Auditor-Treasurer Karin Fursather informed the board that the Pierce County Tribune received two responses in favor of voting by mail, and the county received no other responses for or against. The board approved trying the vote by mail option during the 2016 primary and general elections.

Road Projects Update

The board met with Jessica Tagestad of Wold Engineering. Tagestad presented the plan of work for the FEMA permanent alternate route in Juniata Township, with a bid opening of Sept. 15 and a completion date of Nov. 14. Tagestad also said signage will be placed after the permanent alternate route in Hillside Township is completed, and that a draft of an environmental assessment for that road has been sent to FEMA.

Tagestad and the board discussed Project COIB-3521, PCN 21094. The project involves milling the existing asphalt, laying a blended base and hot bituminous pavement surface for the first mile, then regraveling from US Highway 2 east of Rugby, north and east along CMC 3521 for 8.5 miles. Work is expected to take place during the 2016 construction season.

Bids, Property Hearing set

The board approved setting the date and time of a hearing regarding the appraisal of lands not redeemed, as per section 57-28-11 of the N.D. Century Code, and any objections to the minimum sale price determined. The hearing will take place at 9:30 a.m. during the board’s next meeting, Tuesday, Oct. 6.

The board issued a call for bids for #2 fuel oil, propane and gasoline. Bids would be opened on Oct. 6.

Router Security

Fursather informed the board that during maintenance on a computer in the vault in County Recorder Lori Miron’s office, the maintenance worker found an unsecured router that had been set up as an access point. Miron said the router was supposed to be for public use, however Fursather said the maintenance worker could access the county and state network while on it. The board approved the purchase of a TZ10W Sonic Wall for $299, which would come out of the Preservation fund.

Other Actions

The board approved a change in the county’s policy manual regarding annual leave. An employee’s annual leave can be accrued at the same rate as their previous employment with the county, provided the lapse has been for three months or less.

The board approved levying two mills for the emergency fund for the 2016 budget.

The board approved a quit claim deed between the county and Mark & Sue Schaan on a two-acre parcel of land in NW1/4NE/14, NE1/4NW1/4, section 9, township 155 N., range 73 W.

The board sat in on a conference call with the Lake Region District Health Unit and the commissions for Benson, Eddy and Ramsey counties. The boards approved the unit’s 2016 budget.

The board approved transfers of $108,374.28 from the Social Security fund to the Health Insurance fund; $100,000 from County Poor Relief to Social Welfare; $250,000 from Highway Distribution to Road and Bridge

The board approved a bid from St. Michel Furniture and Floor Covering in Rugby to replace carpet in the community room and hallway in the lower floor of the courthouse.

Jon Oksendahl of RDO Equipment informed the board that the motorgrader the county recently purchased can be delivered the last week of this month.

The board approved the treasurers checks, bills, financial statements and minutes from August meetings.

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