The Grant County court unanimously approved purchasing and installing new time-keeping hardware and software at the Grant County Jail during their Jan. 24 meeting. Under the new system, guards will log in at different locations as they make their rounds.
CityCounty Insurance Services, which provides liability insurance for Grant County and recommended the county purchase the equipment from Guard1/plus, will cover some of the $4,552 cost. The upgrade will help the county secure contracts to house inmates for other jurisdictions, Commissioner Jim Hamsher said.
In other court news:
• At Hamsher’s request, the court approved sending a letter of support for Connect Americans Now, an organization that is lobbying Congress and the Federal Communications Commission to improve broadband internet service in rural areas. Hamsher noted that the Association of Oregon Counties supports the group, and there was no obligation on the part of Grant County by sending the letter of support.
• Concerned they might be setting a precedent, Grant County Judge Scott Myers, Commissioner Boyd Britton and Hamsher agreed to put up $50 each of their own money to cover a pro tem justice of the peace’s expenses for a two-day training session.
Grant County Justice of the Peace Kathy Stinnett brought the request to the court, but Myers noted that county policy prohibits paying education expenses for contract workers. Myers said he would consult with the county’s counsel about steps that could be taken to address this issue in future budgets.
• The court unanimously appointed Tanner Elliott, a Grant Union High School student, as an alternate on the Grant County Planning Commission. Myers said the appointment was delayed until the court could determine if someone under 18 years of age could serve on the commission.
• The court presented a recognition award to Burke O’Brien, a Grant County resident who served as the public works director for Morrow County for three decades and recently retired. O’Brien is credited for spearheading the creation of the 9,000-acre Grant-Morrow County OHV Park, a unique facility with 2,000 acres in Grant County.
• The county received two bids for re-roofing Keerins Hall at the Grant County Fairgrounds. A company in La Grande that recently repaired the county library roof bid $27,500 while a local company bid $10,500. Britton recommended tabling the matter so the court could study the large difference in the two bids, and the court agreed. Myers said he wanted to speak to a licensed roofer about the matter.
• The court approved a new 10-year lease for gravel storage in the Izee area. The lease increased from $1,931 per year to $2,511.
• The court approved a contract for the Grant County Fair headliner act, the country western group Lonestar.
• The county court’s next meeting is Wednesday, Feb. 14.