The Spring Grove City Council voted to purchase a new mobile records management system for the city’s police department on July 15.
Chief deputy Scott Yeiter of the Houston County Sheriff’s Department sat down with members to talk about the system, which will link municipalities with the county and much more. In-car computers will generate files which various levels of law enforcement can access and share all the way from a citation to a court date.
“We’re not currently set up to share,” Yeiter said. “With this system... information is entered once, instead of repeatedly. We (Houston County) will actually be doing more work while taking less time, and it would save a lot of time to have everybody involved.
The county will assume the lion’s share of the cost, paying $190,000 for the system and $28,000 per year for support and maintenance.
Yeiter said that Caledonia, Houston and Hokah had already bought into the system which Minnesota-based software company LETG will provide. La Crescent is expected to follow suit, he noted. The RFP (request for proposal) is actually coming through Winona County with Houston and Fillmore counties “piggybacking” on those negotiations.
Yeiter said the “go live” date to have the new system up and running is Feb. 15.
“I’m in favor of it,” Spring Grove police chief Paul Folz said. “It is the wave of the future... Everything’s going (to) computer, and my guess is that it’s going to be mandated within the next couple of years.
The vote to join the new system was unanimous. Spring Grove will pay $9738 plus $1605 for yearly support and maintenance. Houston County commissioners are expected to approve the contract on August 5.
Basketball bid rejected
Mayor Bruce Poole opened the single sealed bid which the city received to rebuild an outdoor basketball court, but the offer from Klaetsch Paving of La Crosse was rejected as too costly. At $82,500, it was “not quite what we have in the budget,” council member Lorilyn Dehning noted.
Councilman Robert Vogel said, “There were people in the community that were interested in working on this... and our preliminary estimates were less than half of this figure. We’ll send it back to the Parks Commission.
Alley visits to continue
The council met at an alley bordering Ye Olde Opera House prior to convening their regular agenda, inspecting drainage, access for emergency vehicles, and pedestrian accessibility. Due to the Main Street rebuild, the alleyway is now closed to traffic along with another next to the Yah Sure You Betcha Shoppe. Members did not vote on what to do with either property but decided to meet at the latter site prior to their next regular meeting.
Morken plans summer work
Public utilities director Paul Morken got the okay to have engineering plans finalized and seek quotes for rebuilding about 350 feet of First Avenue SE, including re-grading, new surfacing and new curb. Gutters in the area are not working properly, he noted.
“I have an estimate, but I don’t want to advertise it (before getting quotes) Morken said. “I’d like to get it done this year.”
The council also approved Morken’s request to accept a bid from Van Minsel Construction to remove and replace 118 feet of curb along 2nd Ave. NW.
Closed session
Members met in closed session with city attorney Joe Hammell. Topics included “personnel matters” and labor negotiations. There were no votes on either when the open meeting resumed.
Other News
The council approved a permit for Brad Tostenson to place a pre-fabricated home on a lot at 419 3rd Ave. NW.
Members also voted to have “no bicycling” notices painted on Main Street sidewalks from Division west to the Spring Grove  Public Library.
Dehning, who serves as Swim Center liaison, received permission by consensus to keep that facility open past August 10 if enough lifeguards are available. “Our closing date could be past Labor Day,” she said.
Morken said that benches and planters for the Main Street rebuild were due to arrive by the end of the week.