County commission approves hiring freeze exceptions

A number of minor details were taken care of at Tuesday’s St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners meeting.

First, commissioners approved the $8,900 purchase of a mobile/video recording system for animal control officer Greg Musser and his vehicle.

Commissioners also approved an exception to the hiring freeze, granting undersheriff Jason Bingaman’s request for a typist/clerk. The position pays about $57,000 a year, including benefits.

Another exception to the hiring freeze was granted for the position of deputy probate register position, which handles personal-protective orders for all four courts.

Also, commissioners accepted a $6,000 gift for spay/neuter services. The money was given anonymously from a corporation.

Another grant, dedicated to the county’s Parks and Recreation Department, was approved. The $50,000 grant was issued from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Trust Fund.

The grant requires a 25 percent match, but the department will rely on its own labor to upgrade a pit-toilet restroom and a public pavilion. The funds required as a match can be substituted with labor, county grant writer James Hissong said.

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