Pennington County Board Meeting……Covid & New Hires


Inter-County Nursing Director Kayla Jore and Emergency Manager Erik Beitel spoke about the  Covid-19 pandemic. Deaths due to Covid-19 are down in Minnesota although there was a rise in Roseau COunty Cases last week as they now have 30 total cases. Beitel mentioned that the  nw corner of Minnesota’s total Covid-19 cases is still quite low in relation to other counties.

Inter County Nursing Director Kayla Jore said there are two active cases in Pennington County. Inter County continues to do contract tracing and also emphasized source control and hand washing, social distancing and mask wearing. Jore also acknowledged “Covid fatigue” but that people must continue to follow precautions. Deaths are becoming fewer and fewer however case counts are climbing and are trending towards younger people statewide.  Jore believes that increased social gatherings are much of the reason for increased cases. Chairman Tveitbakk asked Jore about mandatory mask-wearing from the Governor and how it would be enforced although the remains unknown to Pennington County authorities as it has to others across the state.  Jore also acknowledged that masks are not that comfortable but that people should try to become accustomed to the masks as they are an excellent source control item. 


Chief Deputy Seth Vettleson presented to the County Commissioners for the Sheriff’s Office. The following Sheriff’s Office requests were approved: Kayla Dunwoody will be promoted to Jail Sargeant  as of July 15th, the Sheriff’s Office may also advertise for 2 part-time corrections officers and may post internally and publicly for a new full-time corrections officer. The SHeriff’s Office will also upgrade their back-up drive for internal data for a $1050 dollars. .


Mike Flaagen also brought quotes for work on the school parking lot which is partially-used by the county. The quotes were referred to the building committee for now. 


There were 4 people interviewed for the Assessor position after Adeline Olson retired. Karl Bruzek-who currently works as a Deputy Appraiser-was approved for the position. Adcertsing to fill Bruzek’s position was also approved. 


The Commissioners also discussed the new County Coordinator Position. Pennington has received a number of applicants and they will be interviewed July 24th. Salary will start at just over 91, 000 dollars.   Chairman Tvietbakk said they will interview 7 very well-qualified applicants. 


Pennington Co Fair requested $10,000 appropriation. It is part of the budget and so it was approved as the fair board continues to work on the site even though there  is no fair in 2020 due to Covid-19.


Looking at getting a quote in the old auditorium for asbestos removal. Preliminary ideas are the cost will be around $100, 000.


All people are working in social services but most are from home. Most people are coming in for 2 days a week then working from home.


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