Clay County annual department updates

Karen Newman

Kimberly Savageau, Clay County Recorder, reminds the public, “The Clay County Recorder’s Office’s mission is to promptly record, file and preserve documents accurately in an efficient, responsible and professional manner for posterity and legal purposes. We do all of all legal records pertaining to real estate, birth, death, marriage, marriage credentials, notary public registration and state/federal tax liens.” Her office offers a Property Fraud Alert program which individuals can utilize to make sure fraudulent documents have not been filed in their name. In 2019, she reports 13 subdivision plats as recorded in Clay County communities. Her office utilizes a new software program which required extensive planning before it could be implemented. One of the benefits of the new software is that all the county recorder’s documents will be housed off-site with the software company for safety. Clay County Administrator Stephen Larson reported the software company lauded Savageau for her pre-planning preparation and implementation, saying that hers was the best conversion they have done. Savageau added that she predicts an uptick in visits to her office as the Real ID deadline draws closer. Her staff continues to digitize records.
Clay County Attorney Brian Melton thanked the commission for their support during a volatile year as his office experienced employee turnover, retirement, and deployment during 2019. He reports a fully staffed office for 2020 with twelve attorneys, including himself in addition to support staff. He cites his office’s mission statement, which is, “…to promote justice, public safety and effective government by prosecuting crime, protecting those in need, and representing Clay County.” Referring to the Assistant County Attorneys, Melton reports, “They are really the frontline, making charging decisions, trying cases and providing services to the many county agencies that rely on our legal system.”
Melton says that crime continues to rise in Clay County due to population growth and drugs, especially meth. Statistics for cases opened are on the rise with 2010 cases opened in 2019. Everything the county attorneys do is now digital. Laptops hold documents, which were once found in paper files carried into court by attorneys. Victim Services supports victims through the entire court process from beginning to end. 900 victims were served in 2019.

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