Lincoln County receives grant for voting equipment

IVANHOE — The Lincoln County Board is set to be informed at today’s meeting that the county is receiving a Voting Equipment Grant for a total of $37,160.28, some of which has minimum matching funds.

In a letter from the state of Minnesota dated Jan. 29, Lincoln County received notice that its application was one of 85 counties and 17 municipalities that requested over $13.3 million in grants to come from the state of Minnesota.

“The grant allocations are based on the number of precincts in each county’s jurisdiction for the November 2016 State General Election, a letter from Director of Elections,” said Gary Poser, director of Elections. “These precinct counts were also used for the initial $1,699 per precinct grant minimum provided earlier.”

The voting equipment grant awarded to Lincoln County and the corresponding minimum local match is divided into two segments. The first is for the optical scan vote tabulator/assisted voting devices for $27,576.06 with a minimum match by the county of $27,576.06. And, the Electronic Rosters grant award was for $9,584.22 with a minimum match of $3,194.74.

“The awarded funds will be transmitted to Lincoln County the grant contract is completed and returned to OSS (Office of Secretary of State),” Poser said.

Also for board meeting, Lincoln County Sheriff Chad Meester will be presenting a letter of agreement between the Lincoln County Law Enforcement Center and Western Mental Health Center requesting permission to use the contract in the Lincoln County Jail.

“In order to properly take care of individuals held in our jail,” Meester said, “Department of Corrections requires us to have available resources for health care services — including medical, dental and mental health.

“We do not offer these resources in our facility and currently take inmates to Hendricks Medical Clinic or Marshall ER for emergency evaluations,” he said, “but we do not currently have a resource for an inmate to have a therapy session with someone.”

The current written jail policy has Western Mental Health Center listed as their mental health resource. Inmates currently can contact a 1-800 Crisis Hotline to immediately speak with someone.

“With this new agreement, we are setting up a resource for an inmate to schedule a one-hour therapy session with an on-staff professional,” Meester said. “If need be, the inmate can be brought to Western Mental Health for a more detailed mental health evaluation.”

Surrounding counties are also using an agreement with Western Mental Health, he said, but due to their jail size, they have a therapist come into their facility two to four hours per week to speak with inmates.

“Our jail does not have this type of demand, so an ‘as needed’ contract is what we are requesting,” Meester said, “and we will call Western Mental health Center and request a therapy session either by phone or in person” with county board approval.

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