The Spring Cleanup Event at the Citizens Collection Station is going to end up costing county tax payers more this year. County Commissioners voted this (Tuesday) morning to hire 5 temporary workers to help at the Cleanup Event during both the city and county days. The estimated cost of the temporary workers from Personnel Services is $3873. In the past, the County Sheriff has supplied jail inmates and a supervisor help at the Citizens Collection Station. County Environmental Health Director Mark Marzahn said he received an email from Sheriff Hanak about a month ago saying the he would be unable to supply inmates this year due to liability issues. County Judge John Brieden said after the meeting that this was a total political move on the Sheriff’s part. When asked if people who have been sentenced to community service could perform the work, Brieden said they had looked at that with the adult probation department and it wouldn’t work out. He said that community service hours are done on Saturday due to most of those involved having Monday through Friday jobs, and the Cleanup Event is Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
KWHI contacted Sheriff Hanak for his side of the story. Hanak said that he declined to provide inmates this year for two reasons. He cited the liability issues of having inmates at the event, not only to the public but to the inmates themselves. He also said that in the past several years he has had to eliminate two outside work crews because the supervisors, who are also jailers, were needed to work inside the jail. Hanak says the state mandates how many jailers are needed for the number of inmates housed at the jail and because he is short staffed, he had to move the work supervisors into the jail. He said because of this, he couldn’t guarantee that the inmates and a supervisor would be available on the days of the Cleanup Event.