By MARK EVANS
STE. GENEVIEVE HERALD
Ste. Genevieve County is going high-tech.
The County Commission voted last Thursday to buy several GFI Digital temperature verification kiosks.
The devices will do more than quickly take individuals’ temperature. They also use facial recognition software. This, combined with a n new policy of making all courthouse visitors sign in, with name and phone number, will allow the county to track and trace people in the event of a visitor testing positive for COVID-19.
About eight units were expected to be ordered when account manager Christy Parrish returned to the July 27 meeting. Two were definitely expected to be ordered for the courthouse and probably three for the detention center one for the county library and about two for the community center. The units run from $2,600 to $3,600 apiece, depending on the style. Some extend from the floor, while some sit on counters.
Presiding Commissioner Garry Nelson noted that one of the many benefits was Sheriff’s Department personnel not having to get as close to courthouse and jail visitors to take a digital temperature reading. Currently, they have to be within two or three feet of an individual.
At the courthouse, one will go at the entrance and one by the time clock, for employees to use.
The commissioners agreed that they would confer with Sheriff Gary Stolzer and others to decide how many of each pedestal type would be needed and then get an exact price quote from Parrish on Monday.
Nelson said it would be a goo idea even without the current pandemic.
“It would be great to know who’s healthy and who may be starting to come down with a cold or strep throat or something,” he said.
Sheriff Gary Stolzer and Major Jason Schott, chief deputy, were also there. Stolzer said they had looked at several brands and that “nothing compared” to the GFI
The price includes three years of maintenance on the devices.
Nelson said that the software and the addition of the sign-in with name and phone numbers was for legitimate health and security concerns.
“We’re not trying to spy on anyone,” he said, noting that some of the county offices were already doing it individually..
PLEASURE EXPRESSED OVER WATERPARK
Brad Arnold, community center executive director, brought up recent criticisms of the community center and River Rapids Waterpark and their financial viability.
Arnold reported that the waterpark had drawn 30,000 visitors already, despite a delayed June 12 start this year. He said a few days of rain and lighting forced the park to be closed either all day, or to shut down early.
Arnold argued that waterparks and other recreational venues are almost never designed to be money-making ventures.
Nation-wide, most parks and recreational venues only recoup about 34 percent of expenses through gate receipts, he said. They all have alternative funding sources.