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Mitchell County Sheriff Beaver to seek patent for Iowa Rapid Report app

Mitchell County Sheriff Beaver to seek patent for Iowa Rapid Report app

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Mitchell County Courthouse New

Mitchell County Courthouse in Osage.

Mitchell County is getting a new recycling shed.

During the Oct. 6 Mitchell County Board of Supervisors meeting, supervisors voted to fund a recycling shed for the Mitchell County Recycle Center, which is administered by the Mitchell County Conservation Department.

Since COVID, many redemption centers are not taking recycled cans and bottles, and the Recycle Center has had a large increase of donated cans and bottles in their donation bins. Adam Shirley, director of Mitchell County Conservation, came before the board to discuss its dilemma.

Shirley pointed out that with cold weather coming, volunteers at the center have no suitable place to sort the recycled cans and bottles, and the volunteers need a heated building where they can work.

“People like the convenience of dropping them (recyclable containers) off here, but basically if we don’t do something now we can’t take them,” said Shirley. He said the center is receiving around $500 bi-weekly for the recycled containers, and those funds are going toward county conservation land acquisition.

Shirley had looked into the cost of a large prefab building with insulation, and a heating and cooling unit and estimated the cost would be around $16,000. The board discussed placing a permanent building on the site, but it was estimated to double the cost. Shirley said his department would provide $4,000 of the funding if the board would approve the rest of the cost for the Recycle Center’s building.

Supervisor Steve Smolik voted against funding the building, stating he felt the money should come out of the Conservation budget, while supervisors Barb Francis and Stan Walk voted to approve the purchase of the prefab building, and the measure was approved.

Mitchell County Economic Development Director Tony Stonecypher brought forth an application for a $50,000 Commercial Incentive Grant for Ben Butcher. Stonecypher said Butcher’s application met all the criteria of the current incentive plan, but when questioned he said the building was more for storing equipment than generating jobs.

“I have hard time with it being used for storage. We are into generating employment,” said Walk.

Smolik, along with Francis echoed the same sentiments.

“I am only approving it because it meets the criteria,” said Smolik. Francis also questioned approving funds for storage space.

County Attorney Mark Walk said he would review the current commercial incentive regulations and see if the board could amend those regulations so future commercial incentive funding could only be used where employment is enhanced.

During his report Sheriff Greg Beaver told the board that a permanent patent has been applied for on the Iowa Rapid Report app which his department in connection with Osage and St Ansgar High School students help to develop in 2018. The app allows students to anonymously report acts of violence, or suspicion of acts of violence to school authorities and local law enforcement.

Beaver said once the permanent patent is approved the app can then be marketed to other schools. Locally, he said the county and his department has made the app available free of charge to all families.

He also pointed out that two burglary suspects had been caught in Osage as a result of citizens quickly responding to seeing something suspicious. He encourages citizen to call in when they see suspicious activity instead of waiting. He stated the actions of the quick call-in and response from the Osage Police Department and his department allowed authorities to apprehend the suspects.

“The Police Department is overloaded with stolen property and are trying to get it identified,” said Beaver.

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