County board looks at building security


A recent request to use the courtroom at the county courthouse for a scene in an independent movie left the county’s security committee with some unanswered questions that they discussed at Tuesday’s Wayne County Commissioners meeting.
At their previous meeting, Winside native Tanner Schwedhelm approached the board, seeking permission to use the courthouse for a courtroom drama movie project. He is working with another director on a movie called “Obeisance, Part 1,” and said the county’s courtroom fits the movie, which is based on a story taking place in the 1930’s and 1960’s.
County Sheriff Jason Dwinell reported on behalf of the committee, and said there were still a number of questions and concerns that they felt needed answers.
“In all honesty, the more we discussed it, it created more questions and more problems and it’s leading to more research,” he said.
Dwinell said that the courthouse has a number of unsecured doors that have not presented a problem in the past, but the committee would like to see those issues addressed.
“It’s never been a problem before, but we’d like to address it before it becomes one,” he said. “This room (the commissioners’ meeting room) for example, a member of the public could walk in here any time of day and nobody would know it.”
“Are we looking at the whole courthouse?” board member Dean Burbach asked.
“It doesn’t make sense to limit security to one office or one floor, so we would be looking at the whole building,” Dwinell said, adding that he would like to talk with every department in the courthouse to make sure all authorized employees would be covered.”
Commissioner chairman Randy Larsen said the committee has kicked around a number of ideas, “but we aren’t ready to present a direct route yet. We’d like to start with some places that people are aware of to show that we’re moving to a more secure environment.”
Cost is the major hurdle, Dwinell said, but there were a number of simple things that could be done in the meantime.
“We don’t have to go whole hog and have roaming armed guards and drones flying around the perimeter. Just some things like making sure doors are locked,” he said. Security is very important, and this is a difficult building (to secure) because of its age and how it’s built.”
The county board also heard from Wayne City Librarian Lauren Lofgren, who presented budget requests for the three county libraries for the 2016-17 fiscal year. Lofgren said there was no change in the libraries’ asking of $13,000, with half going to Wayne, $4,250 to Winside and $2,250 to Carroll.
“We’re putting forward the same request for 2016-17,” she told the board. “I think it’s been a great partnership for us, and I hope it has been for you as well.”
Lofgren said that participation in Wayne’s summer reading program for youth has been particularly busy this summer, with about 60 kids coming from outside city limits to participate.
She added that computer lab use is down and the city probably will not replace computers that become obsolete. Use of the Wayne library’s internet is up, though, as more people bring their tablets and smart phones in to take advantage of the city’s library.
“People come in to the library to read off their tablets or smart phones, and we have to figure out a way to count that so we can better report that information,” she said.
In other action, the board:
– discussed bridges and culverts with Mark Mainelli of Mainelli Wagner and Associates.
– accepted a bid of $135,401.06 from Titan Machinery for the special purchase of a tractor with front-wheel assist to replace a vehicle that will need to be replace by the county, due to its lease running out.
– reviewed a DEQ permit modification application for Temme Agribusiness, Inc.
The county board’s next meeting is Tuesday, Aug. 2 at 9 a.m. in the Wayne County Courthouse.