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December 9th, 2019 News

MCMC Welcomes New Face To ER Team

By Theresa Nysetvold

The Murray County Medical Center in Slayton is pleased to introduce their newest member of the emergency health care team, Dan Bequillard.  Dan is an experienced physician assistant and will be responsible for emergency room coverage one full week each month.

Mr. Bequillard was born and raised in Pennsylvania, but his father served in the military so the family moved frequently to bases all over the world.  He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Texas and the University of Nebraska.  Through the United States Army, Dan was deployed multiple times, serving in emergency medicine.  “I retired from the army in 2009, and have been working in the physician assistant programs at South College in Tennessee and Wichita State University since that time,” explained Mr. Bequillard.  He continues to oversee the program at Wichita State, and commented, “Someday I would love to bring our students to the Murray County clinic.”   

Dan was encouraged to join the MCMC team by his friend and colleague, Dr. Richard Klingler.  “We are long-time friends,” explained Dan, “and he spoke highly of the clinic and the phenomenal staff.  The whole team here really cares about their patients.”  He continued by describing the appeal of emergency medicine for him.  “It’s my favorite.  I try to deliver family practice-type medicine but the main goal is to stabilize people and save lives.” 

He and his wife have five children, four grandchildren and he loves outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing and hunting.  He joined the emergency room rotation this past month, and though none of us want to meet Dan in the emergency room setting, we can be assured the health care team has been strengthened and is prepared to respond to every situation.

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City Council Meets Gets Update On Vaping From SW Health and Human Services

Slayton City Council met on Monday, December 2nd. The agenda was approved and the minutes from the November 18th meeting were reviewed and approved. November claims were also reviewed and approved.

The first item of new business was an update from Jen Nelson, SW Health and Human Services regarding Clean Air Ordinance/Tobacco Regulations. She reviewed the City of Slayton Tobacco Ordinance and discussed this with the Council. She then spent time discussing the dangers of vaping among our youth. Teens feel vaping is harmless and yet this is not the case. She showed examples of Juuls that can be as small as usb drives that can be easily hidden. The nicotine in e-cigarettes can contain as much as 20 cigarettes.

Next on the agenda was the resignation of Lindsey Schreier, police secretary. She has accepted a position within the Murray County Court System as a Court Operations Associate. Her resignation takes effect December 6th.  The Council accepted her resignation and approved moving forward to fill the opening.

The next item of new business was the Snow Emergency Ordinance. They reviewed Windom’s new ordinance and discussed how this could work for Slayton. The Council asked City Administrator Josh Malchow to collect more information for them to review.

They next discussed the fee schedule ordinance update; this was last updated in 2015. This list is primarily items to rent; like the backhoe, grader, sweeper, trucks etc.  The zoning hearing was set for December 16th at 7pm.

The last item of discussion was a report back from Malchow and Blake Heronimus regarding their recent attendance to a meeting put on by Lynn Johnson to discuss possibilities for the Golden Living Center Facility. What can be done with the building was the main question at the meeting. No action was taken at this time.

The next City Council meeting will be December 16th at 7pm.

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County Commissioners Set 2020 Drainage Levies, Levy and Budget 

Murray County Commissioners met on Tuesday, December 3rd. The agenda was approved with additions. The minutes from the November 26th meeting were reviewed and approved. No one was present for open forum.

Heidi Winter was first on the agenda. She presented the Board with this week’s commissioner warrants; these were reviewed and approved. She also presented them with this week’s ditch bills which were approved. 

Tom Burke had one addition to the agenda, he had the annual agreement for 2020-2021 IV-D Child Support between Southwest Health and Human Services, County Attorney and Sheriffs Office. These services are primarily federally funded. This was approved.

County Attorney, Travis Smith, gave the Board an update on the 2019 happenings in his office. They continue to be busy, which is consistent with years past. They had over 125 criminal cases and 75 felony cases. There were many cases that were complex, spanning over multiple counties and agencies. Things have been going well as they settle into the new case management system and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down. He only asks when the Board considers salaries that they “take into account the work his office does, the quality of work and to do what’s fair.”

Michael Ladevich, with MCMC gave the Board an update on the recent month’s activities. The cash amount went up for the month. Days in AR went down for the month. He anticipates cash to go up again this next month and AR to go down again as well. They have added a new Dr to the ER and will be adding another in January. 

Evey Larson gave the Board an update on the Recorders office. She was happy to report they were up $5,000 over last year. They continue to back index documents and are replacing computers in their office. They are also getting a new copy machine all of which will be paid for out of the tech funds. Evey stated, “I have the BEST deputy in the world!” She also remarked how Nobles County recently gave a large raise to their Recorder who only had one-year experience and she just asked that they keep that in mind down the road after she retires. 

Heidi Winter also gave the Board an update on the Auditor-Treasurer Office. They continue to stay busy with all aspects of taxes, ditches and bills and are preparing for the new presidential primary election that will be held in Minnesota in March this year. She also stated, “shout out to my office, any successes I achieve are really theirs.”

Winter next moved on to agenda items. First was the pay application #6 for Judicial Ditch 3 Improvement. This project is moving along and they have received good feedback on it. They approved this payment. She next presented them with the 2020 Drainage System Levies that needed to be set. A public hearing had been held and the Board approved the resolution adopting these 2020 Levies for County and Judicial Drainage Systems for Murray County. They next needed to set the final levy for 2020. The final levy is an increase of 5.7%. The Gross levy amount is $8,394,886 with County Program Aid coming in at $556,641 leaving a Net levy amount of $7,838,245. The Board approved the resolution passing the 2020 levy. The Board next discussed the final 2020 budget. A hearing had been held on November 26th. The Board approved adopting the final 2020 budget with an anticipated change in fund balance in the positive at the end of 2020. 

Ronda Radke was next on the agenda she first presented the Board with the employment staffing levels that need to be approved to determine the 2020 salary budgets. These were reviewed and approved. They next approved the promotion of Jessica Laleman to Deputy Assessor CMA as she has finished her licensing. They moved on to accept the resignations of Christy Riley, Community Relations Coordinator and Justin Koch, Emergency Management Services/Safety Director. It was with regrets that they accepted both of these. They are going to reach out to another applicant for the EMS position to see if they are interested before posting again. They then accepted the resignation of Jamie Johnson, Dispatcher/Jailer and approved starting the recruitment process to fill this position. They next approved the 2020 non-union wage increase of 2.5% COLA and step.

Heath Landsman was next on the agenda. He was asking and informing the Board that they need to move forward in replacing the 911 system. This isn’t something that had been budgeted for, but should have been and will be moving forward. He is able to secure a spot with the new company and should Murray County’s system go out sooner than the equipment is ready, they would be rushed to the top of the list. The Board agreed this is something that needs to happen and, like the vehicles and computers in the Sheriff’s offices, these things will all be included in the capital improvement plan, so they are properly budgeted for in the future. 

Jean Christoffels was last on the agenda. The first item she had was a Conditional Use Permit for Josh Bonnstetter to build a 1400 head animal unit feedlot. The Board approved this. Christoffels next had Shelly Lewis join her with Murray SWCD. They needed Board approval for the 2020 Capacity Grant that is matching funds which come from the County. The Board approved this request. Her last item was to approve the 2020 retainer agreement with Scott Anderson of Rupp, Anderson, Squires & Waldspurger, P.A.. The retainer did go up for 2020 but these are services that are utilized, and the monies are well spent. She also felt this would be a good year for him to come down and do a training. The Board approved this as well.

With no other business the meeting was adjourned. 

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