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Lincoln, Minnehaha Counties Taking Baby Steps

Entrance to County Commission Meeting Room
photo taken by Rick W. Knobe

The Lincoln and Minnehaha County Commissions continue to take baby steps in coordinating and consolidating government services. The latest agreement includes the use of Minnehaha County staff to assist with Human Resource issues in Lincoln County.

Lincoln County will save money by contracting for services it needs rather than hiring staff, and Minnehaha County will make a little money by receiving money for services it can provide. Taxpayers and government employees on both sides of 57th Street, the county line, will benefit.

Here are a couple of more ideas for those elected officials consideration:

A consolidated 911 Center. Current technology makes it easy for employees no matter where they are sitting, to provide quality, professional, emergency service dispatch.  This idea should be broadened to Moody, Lake, Turner, McCook, and Union Counties also, but let’s take it one step at a time.

There should be plans in place to purchase land for future schools, fire stations, parks, drainage ways and ponds. This idea would have to include participation by all the local school boards, cities, and volunteer fire and ambulance service providers in the area. It makes sense to have as many government services at one site as possible. Imagine a school, library, park, fire station, drainage pond all on one parcel. Imagine paying for that land in 2014 dollars rather than paying higher dollar amounts after that.

A “quality of life” bond issue would be smart. This idea will take leadership from both county’s elected officials and cooperation from everybody in positions of spending authority, to make this work.

I commend both county commissions for their vision and leadership. We should encourage them to do more.

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