The Marinette County Public Services Committee meeting was held on Tuesday, Feb. 4 with Kathy Frank, Emergency Management Co-ordinator advising the committee, she had the responsibility of updating the Marinette County Hazard Mitigation Plan along with Ted Sauve, member of the Local Emergency Planning Committee and Fire Chief Jay Heckel of City of Marinette Fire Department.
After a brief discussion, the committee approved a resolution to adopt the 2020-2025 plan, pending approval from Corporation Counsel. The resolution will be forwarded to the full Marinette County Board for approval, which also needs to be approved by Cities and Villages throughout the County. In order to be eligible for FEMA declaration of disaster funding, the County must have a current approved plan.
In his report, Marinette County Sheriff Jerry Suave, said, "We are continuing to work with the new dispatch system changes and it is a work in progress. There are so many changes, and it is a challenge of how do we do this in the new system."
Sauve also stated, of three positions needed to be filled for the jail staff, one was hired and is in the field training program, one began Tuesday, Feb. 11 and the third one will start in March and we will then be up to full staff in the jail.
The jail daily count average is down for the month of January from a daily average of 119 in 2019 down to 107 for January 2020. January 31, 2020 ended with 99 inmates, including 79 males and 20 females, versus 110 in 2019. Jail Administrator, Bob Majewski interjected, "Our numbers are down this year and at a reasonable rate".
In other matters, Sauve commented, "The Bearcat is in a refurbishing production process". He also stated, "The new Canine dog, Lobo is progressing nicely and by the end of February, Lobo will be in the car with his handler, Marinette County Deputy Spencer Elias". Suave added, "I will be attending the Badger State Sheriff's Conference where there will be a lot of legislation items in the works. There is an awful lot that affects us and what we do".
Frank commented about the concerns of Spring flooding issues and wanted to make sure they reach out beforehand for issues that may result. With the prior rain, coupled with the snow, there could be flooding and erosion that could take place in the County and we need to talk about the concerns and what we can do ahead of time.
In other action, the Committee approved the annual subscription fee with Inedeavor for their Software program at a contracted cost of $2,192.
Medical Examiner Kaylynn Van Ermen reported there were 259 death investigations in Marinette County in 2019 versus 239 cases in 2018. As of January 31 there were 23 death investigations versus 24 in 2019. Van Ermen said, "There was one death this year in January due to hypothermia. Last year there were nine hypothermia related deaths". Van Ermen stressed, "It is important to check on your neighbors, especially if living in the country. It is very important to make sure they are being taken care of, especially after a snowstorm."
A future agenda item suggested by Committee Member Ginger Deschaine was to discuss the problems the Emergency Rescue Squads are facing throughout the County. Deschaine said, "Number wise as well as money wise, various squads are hurting. I don't know if there is anything we can do or not. Some are threatening to close. If you are out in the County and something happens, you have nothing. In some instances there is only two people at most on a squad". Other committee members commented the whole state is having problems. Training is very lengthy and intense and there is not a lot of interest from citizens to be involved. Committee Member Ken Keller added, "Squad member numbers are down in the City of Marinette also".