Martin County seeks new jail leader

FAIRMONT — Martin County commissioners approved a motion Tuesday to authorize recruitment to fill the jail administrator position for the county, in the wake of the resignation of former jail administrator Mark Geerdes.

At a previous meeting, the board approved a motion authorizing the chairperson to sign a grievance settlement agreement with Law Enforcement Labors Services Inc., accepting Geerdes’ resignation. The union had already signed the agreement, which states that Geerdes’ resignation was effective April 2; that the union will withdraw the grievance; and that Geerdes will receive payment of his earned personal time off and a portion of sick leave, per the union contract.

Sheriff Jeff Markquart said the role is currently being filled by assistant jail administrator Tanya Skow.

In related news, Markquart offered an update regarding the cost of out-of-county jail placement.

“There hasn’t been an increase in our $55 per day that we pay for out of county in a while, but I got an email yesterday that sounds like that’s going to go up by about $20 to $75 on the first of the year,” he said.

Markquart said the issue is not yet settled, and will be discussed.

“What I’m going to try and do is get a contract for a lower rate, but we’ll see how that works,” he said.

In other news, the board heard an update from County Engineer Kevin Peyman.

“We finished up sealcoating, which went pretty well,” he said. “I know in the next six weeks we’ll be hauling gravel as much as we can. Hopefully when get an extra layer of gravel on all these roads, that will help shore up the last of the weak spots.”

In other action, the board:

o Approved a tuck-pointing bid for the courthouse dome restoration project. The bid was awarded to Restoration Services Inc. of Faribault, which provided the lowest bid at $232,580. The bid includes a final completion date of July 10, 2020.

o Approved a 3 percent increase in the rate for county office space leased to the Fairmont Police Department, which will result in an annual increase from $51,036 to $52,518.

o Approved a 3 percent increase in the lease amount for Faribault/Martin County Human Services, which will result in an annual increase from $194,839 to $200,626.

o Approved the designation of a mother’s room/wellness room in the courthouse for employees.