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Deputies will get new laptops in their vehicles

It's time to upgrade the laptop computers in the Carlton County Sheriff's vehicles.

Sheriff Kelly Lake spoke to the Carlton County Board of Commissioners during the regular Tuesday morning meeting and explained that she was requesting to transfer funds from one line item to the other in the budget.

Lake said she wanted to transfer $83,000 from the prisoner board fund, which had a surplus because the county has only needed to board-out one prisoner a day consistently for the last six months, which is less than was anticipated when the budget was created.

She said $53,500 would go towards payment to Zuercher Technology for a new public safety software package and $30,000 towards the new laptops. The department had been buying laptops either with grant money or refurbished/discounted laptops that were four to five years old at the time of purchase. The $4,000 law enforcement laptops are more expensive than a typical consumer laptop because they have to be mounted and stay in the vehicles in all seasons, from extreme cold to extreme heat as well as be exposed to dust and other situations not common for most laptops. The new laptops will last 10-14 years, she estimated. The commissioners approved the resolution.

Bidding for timber from tax-forfeited land has been conducted at auction to any responsible operator for the highest bid in Carlton County for many years. However, one of the loggers requested to change the process to a more restrictive type of sales, according to Carlton County Land Commissioner Gregory Bernu. The loggers voted against the change 25-3. Some said informal bidding will level the playing field for the small guy while others pointed out that restricting the sales could hamper some loggers' ability to put together a year-long logging program.

"A lot of the them are father/son logging businesses," said Bernu. He acknowledged there are also some larger logging companies participating at the auctions also. Bernu recommended the board vote to keep the process currently used by the loggers. The board concurred.

In other news:

• Employee service awards were presented Janice Carlson, 30 years in the Recorder's Office; Joseph Booker, 20 years in transportation; Harvey Vincent, 20 years in the Sheriff's Office; Lacie Farmer, 10 years in the Sheriff's Office; Robert Lucas, 10 years in the Sheriff's Office; and Joan Impola, 10 years at Public Health and Human Services.

• The board approved the expenditures for the month of May 2017. The board bills were $8,281,278.55 and payroll was $1,686,067.47 for May. There was $1,803,137.29 in revenue, $790,994.87 for roads and bridges, $1,224,163.02 for Public Health and Human Services, $498,419.77 for Motor Vehicle, the State Fund was $1,776,075.94, forfeited tax came to $19,609.97, the Economic Development (IRRRB) was $27,509.53, and the refunding fund was $106,785.91, while the schools was $3,720,649.72 for a grand total of $9,967,346.02 for the month.