County radio equipment is in jeopardy because of a failing facility.

Grant County Sheriff Glenn Palmer presented a request during a Feb. 8 Grant County Court meeting to replace a facility housing radio equipment on Ritter Butte. He said the building has significant structural issues that were exposing radio gear to the elements and allowing pack rats to get in. The court gave him approval to look into alternate sites or to build a new housing facility. Palmer also requested an additional $8,000-10,000 for a new department vehicle. The court told him to continue searching for a suitable vehicle while they acquired the necessary funds.

Palmer also submitted a Title III reimbursement request for search and rescue expenses incurred. Palmer stated search and rescue is performing more operations than they have in past years.

In other county news, Grant County Economic Director Sally Bartlett’s request to the court for a part-time employee to help with research for projects was granted. Commissioner Boyd Britton commended her service to the county and wished her luck finding an additional staffer.

Justice of the Peace Kathy Stinnet’s request to the court to expand clerk Jamie McKay’s hours from 30 to 40 was approved. Stinnet said McKay is an integral part of the justice court’s operations and that case loads are becoming increasingly demanding.

Grant County resident Steve Parsons expressed displeasure at road closures related to the Magone Lake Project. He asserted the Forest Service was eliminating access public lands for senior citizens like himself. Malheur National Forest Supervisor Steve Beverlin thanked him for voicing his concerns and assured him they had been heard.

Commissioner Boyd Britton presented the court with his plan to pursue a natural resource consultant to aid with the county’s natural resource plan. In this year’s budget, $50,000 was set aside for this purpose. Britton said, while the court was capable, they were sometimes not equipped with the expertise to deal with large regulatory agencies like United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

The court also:

• approved the district attorney’s request to send an employee to St. Louis for training in a new software program.

• discussed adding an additional fire exit to the second floor of the courthouse.

• approved the purchase of new computer towers for the county clerk and assessor

• approved former commissioner Chris Labhart’s continued service on the Local Community Advisory Council.

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