County to consider beefing up security at courthouseThe Stutsman County Commission heard a request for additional security at the courthouse during its regular meeting Tuesday. The request was prompted by recent events involving a Jamestown man accused of damaging church property in Mandan.
By: Keith Norman, The Jamestown Sun
The Stutsman County Commission heard a request for additional security at the courthouse during its regular meeting Tuesday.
The request was prompted by recent events involving a Jamestown man accused of damaging church property in Mandan.
“Jan Malina had contacted the courts saying he would be in the Stutsman County Courthouse the next day,” said Fritz Fremgen, state’s attorney. “He didn’t show but a few days later he was arrested in Mandan for breaking things in a church and when they searched his car they found guns, ammunition and a gas mask.”
Malina was charged on Sept. 8 with terrorizing, a Class C felony, in South Central District Court in Bismarck. No further hearings have been scheduled at this time, according to the Morton County Clerk of Court’s Office.
The courthouse does occasionally take security precautions.
“When we’ve had tough court cases we do have a deputy and a metal detector at the door,” said Noel Johnson, Stustman County chief operating officer. “But we don’t want to get into a situation where we’ve had an incident and then react.”
Options discussed were to build secure walls with windows between public and staff areas in parts of the courthouse or to add “panic buttons” at various desks to alert the dispatch center in the Law Enforcement Center to problems.
Fremgen was asked to determine what security measures would work best and gather cost estimates for the commission’s consideration.
The commission also approved a one-time bonus for two department heads for their work on this spring’s flood efforts.
Payments of $2,000 to Mike Zimmerman, road superintendent, and $3,500 to Jerry Bergquist, emergency manager were approved to be funded from the county’s emergency fund.
“We need to give some compensation to those staff members not covered by overtime,” said Mark Klose, commission chairman. “I started thinking about this when I went to meetings on Sundays and they would be there all the time.”
Klose said the county’s hourly workers were paid overtime for extra work done in fighting the flood but not department heads. The original discussion also included a payment to Johnson.
“Thanks, but I will decline,” Johnson said. “I’ll take some extra time off instead.”
The commission ap-proved signing a contract with Interstate Engineering for preliminary engineering work on 11 road projects resulting from damage done by this spring’s flooding. Engineering costs are $203,000 on projects projected to total $2.1 million.
The county’s share of the engineering costs and projects is 20 percent.
Work on some of the smaller projects may be completed yet this fall with the bulk of the projects scheduled for 2010, Zimmerman said.
The commission also approved advertising for bids for the purchase of a rotary mixer and road bed stabilization machine.
“The machine could be used to grind up pavement and turn it into gravel,” Zimmerman said. “It is not to say we won’t pave over some of those roadbeds. Time and money will tell.”
Zimmerman said the cost of the machine is estimated at about $390,000 with a projected cost increase of $15,000 if purchased after the first of the year.
The commission also approved the budget for the Central Valley Health District during a joint meeting with the Logan County Commission. The Stutsman County portion of the CVHD budget is $675,000 for 2010.
Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at (701) 952-8452 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org