Watonwan County Board hears 2019 probation survey report

Sean Ellertson
St. James Plaindealer

At Tuesday's Watonwan County Board meeting, the board heard Sarah Eischens, the Supervisor of the MN DOC Mankato District, presenting probation numbers for Watonwan County in 2019.

"We do a probation survey every year, and with the probation survey, we calculate those numbers," said Eischens. "The survey from 2019 was out. The one from 2020 is not quite ready yet."

The survey showed that at the end of 2018, the county had 245 individuals on probation, and by the end of 2019, that number was down to 220. The probation survey ranged from felonies, gross misdemeanors, misdemeanors, and juvenile offenses.

"The highest number of cases that we had, and it's really not a big surprise, were drugs and DWI's as the majority of the cases we had," said Eischens.

A total of 40 individuals involved in drug cases were reported, and 41 were reported for DWI probation. 

A total of 167 males and 53 females were reported at the end of the 2019 cycle, which Eischen's noted was average.

"When somebody first comes in for probation, we assess the risks and needs level, and that determines how often we see them and how many services we give them," said Eischen. "Some just need more help than others."

The survey also concluded that there was a total of 91 Hispanic Watonwan County residents on probation and 129 non-Hispanic residents on probation. 

Public Works Director Teal Spellman only had one item on her agenda, a permit allowing a 12-inch diameter drainage tile to be placed across the present right of way of County Road Ten in sections 17 and 8 of Nelson Township. 

Board member Dillon Melheim also informed the board that he was able to agree with Blue Earth County to rent three sets of bleachers, each sits 300 people, for $2,000 apiece for the county fair, a move which will save the county money on renting from a rental company.

The next county board meeting is set for May 4 at 9:00 a.m.

Other items:

-  Bills road and bridge: $34,063.17

- Emergency Management Performance Grant for alarm and access control- $16,896

- Resource Center Access Control System

- MVAC SNAP Support Service Grant agreement extension to 12/31/2021-

- Training request- Lisa Schumann

- Personnel:

- Annual Step Movement: Maggie Munseterman Amanda Sill

- Resignation- SWCD Chad Hildebrand

- Layoff half-time probation position, effective June 30