Sheriff pursues grant for sonar equipment

A tragic boating accident last summer took the life of a young man far too soon on Lake Shetek, and when Lyon County First Responders were called to assist Murray County with recovery efforts, they were inspired by technology used by the neighboring county for future recovery of drowning victims.
Sheriff Eric Wallen presented to the Lyon County Board at Tuesday’s meeting, asking for approval to accept a Minnesota Federal Boating Safety Grant for $1,832 to purchase sonar equipment to mount on the county boat.
“We were assisting Murray County last summer when they had a drowning out on Lake Shetek,” Sheriff Wallen said. “Some of the private boats that were assisting had that and that’s ultimately how recovery was made … from those devices, compared to the drags and the other equipment that we have.”
Sonar is a technology that allows a device to identify objects underwater by soundwaves that are sent out and reflected by objects. It can be beneficial in areas of water that have low visibility for a regular camera or diver.
Wallen told the board the grant was applied for in January and they received notice of the grant last Friday. The grant is effective beginning March 2, 2021, and it expires Sept. 23, 2021, so the County must submit a billing invoice within 30 days of the expiration date for it to be valid.
“We saw some value in having that and the grant arrived,” Wallen. “I just ask for your permission to enter into this agreement to make that purchase.”

In other news, the board …
• Approved a sentence to service contract renewal.
• Approved a County coroner resolution agreement.
• Approved a contract with Wilson O’Brien to market the vacant lot on 8th Street for $1,500.
• Approved the Lyon County EDA Plan.
• Approved the Environmental Department to request quotes for general design and project budget estimate work as required for Legacy Grant funding applications for Garvin Park.
• Approved the hiring of Zachary VanKeulen at $11 per hour in the Highway Department with a start date on or around May 18.
• Approved the advertisement for the ditch inspector position.

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