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County hears updates on road, building, security systems

By Sue Sitter - | Feb 13, 2021

Upgrades in jail security systems at Rugby’s Heart of America Correctional and Treatment have begun according to information given by Jail Administrator Mike Graner to the Pierce County Commissioners at their regular meeting Feb. 2.

Graner told the commissioners at their meeting at the Pierce County Courthouse updates on software and camera systems were in progress.

Fargo firm ECI Systems, Inc. installed Wonder Ware security software and had begun installing security cameras at the jail, according to information Graner provided.

Graner said he checked on the progress of a grant application he had submitted with the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development Program to fund camera upgrades, however, no federal funds had been awarded yet.

Graner reported a deficit of $88,155.78 for the jail in January.

The facility’s average inmate population for January was 80, with a high of 88 and a low of 78, Graner reported. The jail’s population as of Feb. 1 sat at 79. The facility saw 35 bookings and 29 releases in January. Four inmates booked in January were Pierce County residents and two of those remained in custody as of Feb. 1.

Graner said 24 of 25 jail staff were on duty, with one on active-duty military leave. Graner also reported one staff member had been infected with COVID-19 in January, but no offenders at the jail had the virus as of Feb. 1.

Commissioners also heard from Pierce County NDSU Extension Agent Brenden Klebe at their meeting.

Klebe presented the commissioners with information about upcoming agricultural events for the community, including pesticide training sessions Feb. 23 and March 2, 3 and 10. The trainings will be held in the Farm Credit Services Meeting Room.

A virtual meeting of the Pierce County Agricultural Improvement Association held Feb. 9 and 4-H classes in shooting sports and hippology rounded out Klebe’s list of ag-related activities in February.

Commissioners also considered a request for support and certification for improvements to the Rugby Armory. The request, written by Abby Ritz of engineering firm AE2S, explained the support and certification were necessary for a USDA grant to pay for the improvements.

After a motion by Commissioner Ashley Berg to sign a certification of support for the project, commissioners Michael Christenson, Mike Brossart, Berg and David Migler voted to sign the document. Commissioner Terry Hoffert voted “no.” The motion passed.

Commissioners also heard updates from Wold Engineering representatives Joe Schultz and Jesse Brandvold on road reshaping and re-grading projects slated to begin in April in southeastern Pierce County. Schultz and Brandvold said the work would be completed by Oct. 16. The board voted to approve an agreement for services with Wold for the road project.

Eric Kuntz, who serves as community service director for Pierce County, gave the commissioners a yearly report for the community service program. Kuntz said he has four new cases for community service so far for 2021. The board later voted to transfer $4,000 from the county general fund to the county’s community service fund.

Commissioners also reviewed a letter from Kelly Jenson, director of the Northern Prairie Human Service Zone indicating the service zone had been approved by the North Dakota Department of Human Services.

In other business, commission members reviewed financial reports from the Rugby Ambulance Service and revenue, expenditures, transfer and balance reports from Pierce County.

The board reviewed and approved two applications for tax abatement, bills, fees and employee time sheets for payment.

The board also approved a $150,000 transfer from highway distributions to a road and bridge fund a $5,000 transfer from county wireless funds to the county emergency 9-1-1 fund.

Pierce County commissioners will hold their next regular meeting at the Pierce County Courthouse Tuesday, March 2, at 8 a.m.

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