Martin County Posse requests training funds

FAIRMONT – Members of the Martin County Posse approached the county commissioners Tuesday morning to request funds for maintaining the volunteer group.

“Our membership is growing,” said Connie Urban, captain of the posse. “We’re up to 11 members now, but it also makes it tougher to receive adequate training.”

Established in 2007, the posse consists of volunteers with and without horses that work under direct supervision of the Martin County Sheriff’s Office. The posse assists in emergencies with search and rescue and disaster relief, along with traffic and crowd patrol. One of the posse’s main duties is aiding with security at the Martin County Fair.

Urban told commissioners the Martin County Fair board donates $250 to the posse for their time at the fair.

“Our organization started with very limited funding, and has survived on small donations,” Urban wrote in her proposal to the county commissioners. “In most cases, members have covered the costs to attend the training clinics through our personal funds.

” … The posse does not qualify for most grants because we lack a 501c3 status. Our organization status and how we are joined to the sheriff’s department prevents us from filing a 501c3 application without jeopardizing our access to the county liability insurance.”

The posse requested $4,500 to cover new uniforms, equipment and training, and an annual operating budget of $3,000.

Commissioners, however, were not clear if there are any funds in the sheriff department’s budget to go toward the posse.

“We need to check to see what’s alloted in the sheriff’s budget and then we can make that determination,” said commissioner Steve Pierce.

No action was taken as the commissioners agreed to wait for more information from the sheriff’s office before allocating any funds.

In other business, commissioners:

o Approved transferring nearly 17 acres of land in Elm Creek Township from Fox Lake Conservation League to Minnesota’s Department of Natural Resources to be part of the Caron State Wildlife Management Area.

o Approved joining the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trail Coalition. Martin County Engineer Kevin Peyman was appointed as the county’s representative in the coalition.