Commissioners review 'complex'
changes coming to community services
Wednesday, June 12, 2013 7:09 AM
The Fillmore County Board of Commissioners met on June 11 and discussed state changes occurring in the healthcare marketplace and its local impact with the county's Community Services department.
Community Services director Beth Wilms, director of nursing Lantha Stevens and Human Services manager Gail Bunge explained the impact they see happening once the online healthcare marketplace MNsure goes live in October, later this year. Wilms explained there has been concern about how many more people will be coming through the doors of Community Services after the go-live date.
They anticipate around 700 persons in addition to the 1,500 they already serve. Wilms said the county's department is very lean in staff and, "the need for office support is critical to help in the screening processes."
Commissioner Chair Randy Dahl noted that around 10 percent of the county's population would be affected by the changes several of the board members labeled as "complex."
Wilms explained that through the Affordable Care Act, the county would receive 75 percent reimbursement on staff, training and benefits for an undetermined amount of time. Wilms explained that this could cause a 30 to 50 percent reduction in the levy in anticipated costs.
Dahl pointed out that they would have to take into account adding more staff.
According to Wilms, the Department of Human Services expects 65 to 75 percent of people won't need someone to help them through the system. Wilms said this was a high number and that they think many of those people will come in once something unexpected occurs in their coverage.
In a related matter, the board approved the renewal of a State of Minnesota Shared Services Agreement, which is for services between the Department of Human Services, the State Operated Services (SOS) and Fillmore County. SOS provides mental health services to adults suffering from severe mental illness or serious and persistent mental illness. The new contract goes through June 30, 2015.
Sheriff Daryl Jensen and Kevin Beck from Emergency Management updated the board on the public safety software and record management system request for proposals.
The sheriff's office had received five proposals by the May 24 due date and discussed each one with the commissioners. The county's current public safety software contractor is TAC10, which proposed a new system at $54,140 with $19,338 for annual maintenance.
The county has been with Iowa-based TAC10 for 15 years. Jensen said their contract with them was terminated until the county made a decision whether or not to continue with them.
Other offers came from South Dakota-based Zuercher, Minnesota-based LETG, Michigan-based New World and Wisconsin-based ProPhoenix.
Olmsted County uses New World and Commissioner Tom Kaase, who is employed by the county, said he couldn't recommend the system based on his experience.
Jensen said he recommended the county go with either Zuercher or LETG. Both companies have contracts with several other Minnesota counties. Jensen said it was important to consider possible dispatch collaboration in the future with nearby counties.
Winona County recently switched to LETG, Mower is currently looking into switching, and over 60 agencies in Minnesota use it.
Commissioner Chair Randy Dahl said he wondered about the longevity of a company like LETG, which was founded by a Woodbury police officer 10 years ago.
Coordinator Karen Brown said there appeared to be a high confidence level in the product.
Jensen explained that some cities could act as beta testers should the county choose to go with LETG.
The software from LETG was the third least expensive software at a total of $163,192 and $20,273 in annual maintenance.
Commissioner Chuck Amunrud said two-thirds of the funding for it would be paid out of the 911 funds with the county covering the rest.
Kaase said the company was extensively used in Minnesota, was based in Minnesota, good at troubleshooting and providing support.
The board recommended that an evaluation be completed on how the software would be specifically funded. If future collaboration with Mower, Houston and Winona counties occurs, dispatch calls could be directed to any county if one is unavailable for any reason.
In other business
In other business, the commissioners handled the following issues during their meeting on Tuesday.
The board adopted 13 goals for departmental programs in 2013. Goals relate to reducing certain crime rates, tobacco usage, increasing veterans benefits and library statistics. The county had committed to participate in the Minnesota Office of State Auditor's Performance Measurement program. The program awards counties revenue of $.14 per capita. Brown mentioned that their participation will not exempt them from current levy limits as was the case in prior years. The board approved participation in the program and their goals.
A regional collaborative agreement between Fillmore, Houston, Goodhue, Winona and Wabasha counties relating to Fraud Prevention Investigation was approved for renewal. The program has been funded by state grant money since 1999. A change in the delivery of services was approved of by all five counties. Dahl said this agreement helped find people who jump from county to county, trying to scam the system.
The board approved the city of Rushford to use light tower generators during a scheduled power outage while they replace four poles on the dike.
The Fillmore County Sheriff's Office recently went live with a Facebook page. Jensen explained that information on detours, distracted driving, D.A.R.E. program and other points of interest will be posted to the page. "It doesn't cost anything and it's a way to positively and creatively market our office," he explained.
The board approved the purchase of a squad car for the sheriff's office from a Fillmore County used car lot, up to a maximum cost of $17,000.