The history behind our government offices.
The services provided by Steele County government affect the daily lives of residents in ways both big and small. In celebration of National County Government Month it seemed like an opportune time to tell Steele County’s story.
The Information Technology (IT) department works mostly behind the scenes supporting the computers and telephones used for every function of county government. IT ensures that all departments have secure, reliable computers with the software needed to serve the public.
Sometimes IT steps out on stage and provides service directly to the public. For instance, the website you are reading right now is a function of IT. Any time you are working with county staff via the website, email or telephone IT is making it possible.
Implementation of residential single stream recycling in Steele County began in 2012 and was fully implemented in 2013
- Recycling tonnage increased under the new single stream program by 58%, from 1,900 tons per year to 3,000 tons per year – way to go Steele County residents!
- The Steele County Landfill is more than just a waste disposal facility – in 2013 over 1,100 tons of material was collected for recycling and reclamation including; household hazardous waste, concrete, tires, electronics, appliances, scrap metal, and used oil.
You won’t find many staff in the Public Health office, because most work is done in homes, businesses, schools, daycares and body art shops. Staff meet people where they are- getting a foot in the door into a world not seen by the eyes of many health care providers
- A Public Health home visit may reveal why a patient is noncompliant with diabetic health recommendations leading to increased compliance and reduction of long-term complications
- A blood borne pathogen class taught by a Public Health Nurse in the workplace causes an employer to pursue complete protective measures, reducing potential exposure to deadly viruses
- A Public Health influenza vaccination clinic prevents illness saving employers money and public lives
- WIC clinics provide education and resources to young families, hoping to give them an opportunity to thrive
- In this present time of concern for our nation regarding rising healthcare costs and continuing health care priorities such as obesity, tobacco use and mental illness, Public Health remains on the front lines of health promotion and protection.
The Recorder’s Office was among the first county offices, established in 1856. From that time until current, there have been 16 Register of Deeds/Recorders in the department.
For First Quarter 2014:
- 260 passport applications were processed
- 317 passport photo’s here taken
- 38 marriage applications processed
- 1250 real estate related documents recorded
- For one of many above and beyond stories click here
Steele County, in collaboration with Waseca County, has obtained a grant and is in the midst of instituting a Drug Court, which should be up and running this summer. Drug Courts closely monitor participant’s progress toward sobriety through long-term help with their chemical dependency issues resulting in an opportunity for some clients to remain in the community rather than being incarcerated. Evidence shows that longer exposure to treatment programs is more beneficial to clients then brief exposure and the Drug Court provides that opportunity.
The total estimated market value of all real and personal property in Steele County is just over $4.3 billion, which is broken down as follows:
- 21,515 total parcels
- 11,650 residential parcels of which 10,190 are homestead
- Approximately 250,000 agricultural acres contained in 4,900 agricultural properties
- 1,315 commercial industrial properties
- 150 multi-family properties
- 20% or an average of 4,303 parcels must be physically inspected each year.
Transportation to the VA Medical Center is provided to eligible Veterans.
From April 2013 through Jan 2014:
- 592 Veteran’s were transported to the VA Medical Center
- 95 pieces of specialty equipment or prescriptions were driven from the VA Medical Center back to Steele County
- 46 spouses were transported along with a veteran or to visit a hospitalized veteran
- 8 volunteer drivers are currently on active status
- 1 volunteer driver is currently on call
- An average day for a volunteer driver can range from nine to 16 hours
- From October 2005 to present, volunteer drivers have logged approximately 325,000 miles with Zero Driver Caused Accidents!
In an effort to increase efficiency for both customers and employees, Human Services invested in an Electronic Data Management System (EDMS). Initial implementation began in the Financial Eligibility unit.
- All current case files were scanned into the new EDMS
- Going forward all customer related documents will be scanned and the software will then direct each new piece of paper to the right “doc box” so it is readily available to the workers from their desktops, resulting in no more misfiled or lost forms
- By implementing the EDMS approximately 280,000 pieces of paper were scanned resulting in the elimination of 20 four-drawer file cabinet
- Child Support case files are scheduled to be scanned next.
Steele County’s Highway department maintains a transportation system that includes
- 755 lane miles of road which is about equivalent to driving from Owatonna to Chicago and back
- 132 bridges
- more than 6,000 traffic signs.
Steele County’s Building and Ground’s department maintains
- Over 210,000 square feet of building space, including Steele County Courthouse, Annex, Administration Building, Law Enforcement Center, County Attorney’s Building, Community Center, and the Detention Center
- the efficiency and operation of the county’s vehicles and 800 MHz radio towers.
The Steele County Attorney's Office (SCAO) is the chief prosecutor of all criminal proceedings in Steele County, except for misdemeanor cases in Blooming Prairie. The office serves as legal advisor to the Grand Jury, examines witness in the presence of the Grand Jury, issues subpoenas to bring witness before the Grand Jury, and prepares indictments for the Grand Jury.
The SCAO office represents the County’s interests in jail proceedings and civil actions and provides opinions and advice to the County Board of Commissioners and the County offices. This office represents the County’s interests in the enforcement of child support obligations and determinations of paternity, child protection matters, and civil commitment actions.
Since 1996, Steele County has offered direct service to victims of adult and juvenile offenses through a Victim Services Coordinator (VSC) within the SCAO. Minnesota Statue §611A sets forth various crime victims’ rights and imposes various legal obligations on prosecutors’ offices in furtherance of those rights.
The County Attorney is elected by the citizens of Steele County for a four-year term. Daniel A. McIntosh serves as the Steele County Attorney and may be reached at 507-444-7780 or email@example.com. Along with the County Attorney, a Chief Deputy County Attorney and four Assistant County Attorneys represent the public interest through the SCAO.
The SCAO is located in the Courthouse Office Building, 303 S. Cedar, Owatonna, MN 55060, 507-444-7780.