The Rice County Council of Commissioners today voted unanimously in favor of a contract with the Anoka County Medical Examiner’s Office to provide these services effective December 1, 2021.
County District Attorney John Fossum told commissioners that the current Hennepin County agreement has been in place for several years. Fossum reported that he and a couple or representatives from the Rice County Sheriff’s Office met with the Anoka County medical examiner and were impressed.
There are four ME offices in Minnesota. Requests for proposals to provide the services in Rice County have been sent to each office. Hennepin and County Anoka responded.
Fossum says, “Hennepin and Anoka both offered a flat rate per capita service. Hennepin County was much more expensive. I think it was $ 252,000,658 per year. Anoka County was offering $ 153,000,858 per year. . Hennepin County would provide the scene examination services for that amount, but the examiners would be located in Hennepin County. They would come out as needed and try to get here within an hour. “
“Anoka County proposed to have something more similar to what we have now, where they would have scene examiners on call and have them in Rice County and require them to report to the scene in every 45 minutes. “
commented Sheriff Troy Dunn. “I think that’s a good solution. Not that with Dr Evans and Dr Reister, things haven’t gone well. Nothing fundamentally changes except that they take on a lot more responsibility and we don’t have to pay. To come and testify is another thing, I think, key. I think it’s a good choice for Rice County. “
Commissioner Galen Malecha expressed concern that the MOE is not located in Rice County. Fossum and Dunn assured him that Rice County medics weren’t upset by the change.
Fossum said: “The appointment of Dr Strobel (Anoka County ME) as the county medical examiner is part of the contract that the board has already approved, so this is what we need to move forward. before with this process. “
The commissioners also approved a resolution adopting Rice County’s comprehensive plan for 2040 after some discussion.
Commissioner Galen Malecha first said he would vote against adoption because he believed the plan could have been more aggressive in a few areas. He cited the sustainability of land use, housing and transportation.
“I know there are some things we can certainly add over time as things change in the compensation plan, but I personally think there were some things that I would have liked to see in the plan.” commented Malecha.
Commissioner Steve Underdahl said he could move forward with the overall plan: “But what I might suggest is that we move forward with this and consider asking staff to ‘Develop a Request for Proposal (RFP) for (land use along I-35 itself). I was one of the concerns we heard from a lot of people. It is certain that in this area there are lands which are not suitable for development which should be protected. I know that a compensation plan is a guide, but before we go with all the additional steps in this area, I think that will help guide us in protecting these sensitive areas and help us define where we should to develop in this area. “
County planner Julie Runkel warned commissioners, saying, “You may need to narrow the scope a bit more by looking at these things and what we would do whether or not you adopt the compensation plan, c is to consider what we are going to do to move What are we going to do to implement this compensation plan now? How do we do it, what are the processes? Some zoning changes that could occur. There are things outside of the zoning area that are included in the overall plan as well for housing and transportation. We recommend going ahead with a comprehensive transportation plan. “
After hearing the commissioners agreed to have more details dealt with in the future, Malecha joined them in passing the resolution adopting Rice County’s 2040 Comprehensive Plan.
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