Douglas County board budget briefs
The communication system for Douglas County Social Services will be getting a little boost. Commissioners approved Social Services Director Mike Woods request to purchase a new ITV system for the department.
Morris Electronics from Morris, Minnesota was granted the contract for video conferencing equipment. A video conference camera, mounting shelf, microphone and Cisco Quickset are included in the $9,801 price.
Woods said the old equipment was broken and needed replacing. The new components will be paired with a plasma television already owned by the county.
An application for abatement was approved for the historic Alexson property in Alexandria at the Douglas County commissioners' meeting on February 12. Property owner, Virgil Batesole, requested that the structure value be corrected and taxes recalculated.
The property consists of two parcels. Due to a clerical error made when manual recording switched to paperless in 2011, the structure's value on the parcel was calculated higher than it should have been, according to the county assessor's office. The taxable market value on the property has consistently gone down since 2008 when each parcel was valued at $408,900. Taxable market value was $381,000 for 2012, adjusted from $728,700.
The savings continue to grow through the Coast2Coast prescription program in Douglas County. The program was strongly supported and pursued by past commissioner Paul C. Anderson. December showed $2,629 saved on $11,166 worth of prescription drugs. To date, 70.05 percent has been saved on prescriptions purchased through the plan, which is available at area pharmacies. The county has received $263 in royalty income since September 2012 for using the service.
The county received more than $5,000 in donations. Galeon gave $40 to the Douglas County Sheriff's Office as a thank you for a K-9 presentation in December. An anonymous $50 donation was also given to the sheriff's office. Douglas County Public Health received $5,133; $500 was designated for the Klick it for Kelsey seat belt program and the remaining $4,633 was for hospice.
Commissioners approved payment to the Minnesota Rural Counties Caucus (MRCC) and the Central MN Regional Radio Board. The radio board received $3,191 for annual support and maintenance of the radio logging equipment. MRCC was paid $2,100 for membership dues.
Crystal Dey Crystal Dey is a staff reporter for the Echo Press. Originally from Minnesota's Iron Range, Dey worked for newspapers in North Dakota, Florida and Connecticut before returning to her home state to join the Echo Press in October 2011. Dey studied Mass Communications at Minnesota State University Moorhead with an emphasis in Online Journalism. Follow Staff Reporter Crystal Dey on Twitter at @CrystalDey_Echo.