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Marinette County Dispatch Gets 6,232 Calls in March

The Marinette County Law Enforcement Committee took steps to insure a smooth transition to a new Child Support Director when members met Monday, April 7. The current Director, Corina Dionne, will retire early in May. County Administrator Ellen Sorenson reported a job offer has been extended to one candidate, from whom she hopes to hear from soon. The Committee recommended to the Personnel Committee and County Board that the new and current directors work together for a week to allow the new employee to become more familiar with the job and workload. The position request form calls for an overlap of no more than 40 hours.

Since the Child Support specialist will retire in May, the Committee made a similar recommendation to hire a new specialist to work with the current one for 56 hours as the transition is made.

Committee members also recommended that a temporary deputy registrar for the Probate Court Commissioner be hired while the current deputy registrar is away on Family Medical Leave for 12 weeks later this year.

The group recommended that the County Board approve the purchase of upgraded software for the Dispatch desk at a price of $46,430.05. It also recommended to the Board and the Finance Committee the purchase of Efatom Time Base Equipment for the communications tower in Pound at a cost of $29, 855. The unit currently in use at the Pound Tower was borrowed from another county after the previous unit stopped working.

Communications Director Kirsten Bellisle reported the Dispatch desk had received 6,232 calls during March, of which 1,067 reported emergencies. Two dispatchers received training on Suicide Awareness and Prevention in March, and three dispatchers will receive training in Mission and Exploited children on April 15 and Crisis Negotiation Training on April 16. Bellisle will interview candidates for an open part-time dispatcher’s position in April.

Marinette County Sheriff Jerry Sauve said he had met with an architect and Highway Commissioner Ray Palonen about a new Equipment Storage Building at the Law Enforcement Center. Plans call for construction to begin this summer and the building to be ready in the fall. Sauve also told the committee some persons convicted of minor crimes and sentenced to electronic monitoring don’t understand that they are still technically “in jail” and have visited inappropriate places. One of them had to be jailed in March after too many violations.

Jail Administrator Bob Majewski reported there were 125 inmates on Saturday, April 5, 114 of them resided in the Marinette County jail, while 11 were on electronic monitoring. One of the inmates was from Oconto County and had been arrested in Marinette County. Inmates had been shifted around the facility on Friday, May 4 so that maintenance personnel could do some work in one unit. The state will send a jail inspector to the facility on May 13.

Emergency Management Director Eric Burmeister said he is concerned about the extreme cold damaging water mains in Marinette, Crivitz, and Wausaukee. The Public Service Commission is collecting data about the significance of the problems and the cost to repair them. Wisconsin meets the threshold of the Federal Emergency Management Administration to have a federal emergency declared to help municipalities if problems arise.

Burmiester further said the State of Wisconsin has received about 100 complaints from Marinette County about service from propane dealers. Most of the complaints come from credit balances not being returned to customers who request them. He cited one example of a county resident who is owed $1,800 from his vendor. Burmeister is also concerned about the April 16 expiration of the moratorium on discontinuing utilities for customers who are behind in paying their bills.

The Committee reviewed $248,735.64 in March expenditures for the Law Enforcement Department and transferred $43,060 from a grant to fund overtime and salaries and the purchase of materials and equipment. Members also wrote off $15,142.15 in overdue inmate reimbursements and $32 in uncollectible accounts. A total of $14,565.35 was recovered from overdue accounts, while $26,909 in overdue accounts was sent for collection. The County has hired a full-time debt collector, and all collections work will soon be done by county staff instead of a collection agency.

Chairperson Ken Keller presided. The Committee will meet next on Monday, May 12 at 1:15 p.m. in the Law Enforcement Center Conference Room.


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