WDAY: The News Leader

Published January 25, 2011, 10:41 AM

Wilkin County employees push for work phones

Breckenridge, Minn. (WDAY TV) - It's an ongoing debate that still hasn't reached a conclusion: Should Wilkin County employees are forced to spend their own money to make work-related phone calls?

Right now most Wilkin County employees are forced to use their personal cell phones because they don't have work phones. However, the county sheriff’s office is trying to change that.

Sheriff's deputies have reported spending hundreds of dollars extra in cell phone bills because they're going over their minutes for work-related phone calls. We spoke with a county commissioner who said she is not against the idea, but would like to know exactly how much it would cost the county first.

Wilkin County Emergency Management Director Breanna Koval has only been with the county for a month. She was hesitant about giving her opinion, but said she understands both sides of the issue.

Breanna Koval: “I can understand the benefits and I can understand why it is such a, I don't want to call if controversial, but it's a touchy subject because it is costly.”

Wilkin County Commissioners are hoping the sheriff’s office has a financial proposal ready by the next time they meet on February 8th. Deputies also say they are forced to use their cell phones because they're not allowed to relay personal and private information over police radios.