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Davison Co. sheriff's office to get new vehicle

Speeders beware. The Davison County Commission approved the purchase of a new $31,185 Dodge Durango for the county's sheriff's office Tuesday during its regular meeting at the Davison County North Offices. The four present members of the board, m...

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Speeders beware.

The Davison County Commission approved the purchase of a new $31,185 Dodge Durango for the county's sheriff's office Tuesday during its regular meeting at the Davison County North Offices. The four present members of the board, minus Commissioner Kim Weitala, unanimously approved the purchase.

"The Durangos, they suited us well years ago when we had those white ones," said Davison County Sheriff Steve Brink. "The only one that didn't work out so well was when they got run over by a semi, wasn't the (Durango's) fault."

Approximately $35,000 was budgeted for the new vehicle, and Brink estimates less than $1,000 in additional funds will be needed to outfit the vehicle with necessary law enforcement equipment.

When Commission John Claggett asked whether the purchase being approved Tuesday would only include the vehicle costs or both the Durango and the additional items, Commission Randy Reider noted it was an all-inclusive approval.

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"Doesn't work unless you get it ready, put all the makeup on it," Reider joked.

The new vehicle will put a 2006 Dodge Durango out of service that had 104,000 miles under its belt. And while additional items like lights and sirens will add the the total cost, Brink doesn't expect the project to go over budget.

"It's going to be nip and tuck to stay within the budget, (but) I think we're going to be there," Brink said.

Flu pod to return in 2017

After a one-year break, the free flu clinic will return in Mitchell in 2017.

That's according to Becky Erdahl of the community health nurse office, who told the commission Tuesday that the annual flu pod will make its way back to Mitchell this fall.

Last year, the influenza clinic typically held at the Corn Palace was scrapped in favor of the administration of meningococcal and Tdap vaccines. But Erdahl said state funding will likely bring the flu clinic back for another trip through Mitchell for those aged 18 and under.

From Sept. 1 through Jan. 30, Erdahl said the community health nurse's office administered 547 flu shots at the Mitchell Christian School, Dakota Wesleyan University, in Mount Vernon and at Toshiba America Business Solutions. And, Erdahl said, the trips to various locations to provide flu shots was partially due to the lack of a larger flu clinic in 2016.

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"We weren't able to do our flu pod this year, so we're trying to branch out there and get as many flu shots given," Erdahl said.

With flu activity rising to approximately 300 cases this season in South Dakota, Erdahl said the office hopes to continue its immunization efforts.

"There have been 70 hospitalizations and three deaths, so we want to make sure those flu immunizations are out there," she said.

Other business

In other regular business, the commission:

• Heard a quarterly report from Davison County Treasurer Christie Gunkel. During her presentation, Gunkel speculated passport requests would increase in 2017 after having jumped from 166 in 2015 to 240 in 2016. The county also added a service to provide passport pictures in 2016, and 220 photos were taken. A probationary wage increase was also approved for an employee of the treasurer's office.

• Heard the quarterly welfare report from Welfare Director Dawn Grissom.

• Discussed a county drug testing policy with Auditor Susan Kiepke and Planning and Zoning/Emergency Management Administrator Jeff Bathke. The county discussed increasing the amount of drugs tested and updating policy to drug test all new hires. Commissioner John Claggett called the plan a "no-brainer." The county's employment policy is currently being updated, and the drug testing update could be included.

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• Approved supplemental appropriations from grants for the courtroom security and overtime for the sheriff's office.

• Declined a request from Stump Shooters, an archery group, regarding a request for additional use of the Davison County Fairgrounds space.

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