Wadena County’s Tyler Wheeler Achieves Emergency Management Director Certification

After hundreds of hours of instruction, Tyler Wheeler, assistant to the Wadena County Sheriff’s Office and director of emergency management, earned his certification as director of emergency management.

Him and the sergeant. Bryan Savaloja received Basic Emergency Management Certification in 2018 from the Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM) Division of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. Wheeler has worked with the Sheriff’s Office since 2012 and started in the emergency management role in 2017.

“Training is a key part of the HSEM mission to help Minnesota prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies and disasters,” Lisa Villcheck read in a letter. She is the HSEM Region 4 program coordinator. “The challenges of securing our communities and managing emergencies continue to grow, as do the demands to stay up to date with technology, doctrine and policy development. “

Wheeler will continue his training in emergency management throughout his career.

New vehicles arrive at the sheriff’s office

The sheriff’s office replaces one patrol vehicle and purchases two patrol vehicles. One vehicle was involved in a deer accident, and the other two vehicles were on the replacement schedule.

The 2021 patrol car was destroyed after a collision with a deer on November 8. The MCIT has issued a check for $ 23,191.90 for a new patrol vehicle and will send additional funds for equipment, decals and body shop invoices. The vehicle had approximately 11,000 miles. With the backlog of vehicles, Deputy Chief Joe Schoon said the vehicle could arrive in four to five months. The difference between the additional funds and the equipment costs will be paid by the county.

A new team and a Ford F150 responder will also join the fleet when they arrive in several months. One will serve as a patrol vehicle and the other as an emergency management vehicle. The 2013 Ram truck from the office will be traded in when the F150 arrives. They will trade in the vehicle for $ 13,500 and sell two SUVs in the spring after presentation to council. Commissioner Bill Stearns abstained because he owns Ford shares.

The council also has:

  • Discussion of updating dispatch center with new flooring, lighting and furniture for $ 60,000. The space was last renovated in 2009. The command board with computers, television screens and camera surveillance is a 24/7 operation run by at least two officers, like the described Savaloja. Savaloja said the estimate is “intimidating” and is due to the 24/7 need for the items. Commissioners agreed there was a need and Savaloja will present official quotes at the December 21 meeting. The dispatch center would be temporarily relocated during the renovation.

  • Thanked County Attorney Kyra Ladd for her dedicated work in the county and for rural Minnesota representation at the state level. Ladd received the 2021 Award of Excellence from the Minnesota County Attorneys Association.

  • Heard on annual feedlot report, including how feedlots have shrunk over the years as people have had to sell or have smaller farms due to the drought, as Mitchell Janson, SWCD district technician, said. The county has about 80 registered feedlots and will probably lose 4-5 and win 1-2. Janson also noted cost-shared funding available for closing old manure pits.

  • Approved the purchase of 15 Voter Assist Devices for the ubiquitous polls. Most of the costs will be covered by state grants. The cost to the county is between $ 5 and $ 10,000 for old machinery recycling, shipping, and training. The equipment includes an iPad, printer, and Braille and audio attachments. A voter assistance machine is available at each polling station for people with disabilities. Aldrich, Nimrod and Shell River are voting by post and have no plans to resume offering in-person voting, according to Wadena County Election Coordinator Joy Weyer. The town of Wadena will have two machines due to the number of voters, although the second machine and the one from the county office can be used as spare parts on election day if needed.

  • Approved the addition of a general fund item for the Conservation Fund Committee of $ 1,000. There are two Citizen Board members who will receive $ 60 per meeting plus miles flown. Commissioner Murlyn Kreklau said the committee will not meet much, but the hope is that the county will acquire the land to generate more revenue and provide uses to citizens.

  • Approved final payment for the County Road 100 Grinding and Coating Project for $ 27,175.01 to Central Specialties. The project was completed in September.

  • Approved to enter a multi-state settlement agreement regarding the distribution and manufacturers of opioids in the opioid crisis.

  • Approved the Convene 2022 training for $ 999. The Commissioners have already noted that the cost is over $ 999 and questioned whether the training is necessary. County coordinator Ryan Odden said the training is particularly beneficial for social workers and the trauma-informed care committee has become more effective over the past year.

  • Named Stearns for the Sourcewell board poll.

  • Discussion of Wadena Development Authority purchasing additional lots in Folkestad addition where Midwest Minnesota Community Development Corporation homes are being built. The WDA will present the American Rescue Act funds for a sewer and water supply project at the December 21 meeting.

By consent, the board approved:

  • The aggregate grant from the State Council of Soil and Water Natural Resources for 2022-2023 is $ 152,286.

  • The 2022 West Central Minnesota Communities Action contract for the health and developmental screening of Head Start students who have not been screened prior to entering the program.

  • Reduction of Mary Jo Pieper’s hours from 100% to 80%. Commissioner Jon Kangas asked whether the 20% difference was originally necessary or whether it was a consideration of downsizing. Deputy Director of Public Health Erica Keppers and Director Cindy Pederson said her responsibilities can be transferred to different nurses as public health projects “flow and ebb”. Pieper is also approaching retirement.

  • Public Health rental agreement with First English Lutheran Church in Menahga until December 2023 for $ 65 per month. The space serves as a clinical site with services such as the nutritional program for women, children and infants, child health screenings and vaccinations.

  • The contract with Dr. Leonard Lamberty as a medical consultant in public health until July 2022. The contract includes a raise of $ 525 and a salary increase for work related to COVID-19. He plans to retire after having held this position for several years.

  • The Minnesota Department of Human Services Children’s Mental Health Grant for mental health screenings, assessments, and intensive home treatment services. Wadena County Social Services has mental health services available for children, youth and adults. You can call 218-631-7605 to have your case reviewed and to learn more about a case manager.

  • A Big Idea grant for 2022-2023 to help young people exit foster care, such as obtaining a driver’s license, household supplies, further education and independent living skills.

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