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County Board Meeting January 18 2022

Posted: 01/18/2022

Author: Julie Anderson

Category: County Board, Departments

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The second Douglas County Board of Commissioners meeting in 2022 began with a public hearing to review the 5-year County Highway Improvement Plan. County Engineer and Public Works Director Tim Erickson walked commissioners through each of the projects on the list and explained where the funding originates. Erickson also told commissioners his department had to push a couple of road projects to 2023 because he is short two engineers on his staff.

The most notable project on the 2022 list is a roundabout at County State Aid Highways (CSAHs) 45 and 82. This is right near the YMCA west of downtown Alexandria. Other projects include a combination of surfacing, milling, reclaiming, and overlaying on CSAHs 7, 8, 9, and 104. The county plans to do grade widening, curve realignment, reclaiming and bituminous surfacing on CSAH 13. An intersection lighting program with Grant County is also on the list. Ninety percent of the cost will be paid with federal funds.

Erickson said the sources of funding for county road improvements comes from the highway user fund, more commonly called the gas tax, federal funding, local option sales tax which is .05% on all sales transactions in the county, and property tax levies. The public hearing was attended by one person who lives on or near CSAH 8. He questioned why so many additional projects on that road are being dragged out over several years. He said this approach puts him and others through ongoing misery and hardship. He did, however, thank the public works for doing what it could to control dust on township roads when a roundabout was put in at 8 and 40 in LaGrand Township in 2021.   

Commissioners approved the 5-year County Highway Improvement Plan and gave Erickson permission to go out for bids on the CSAH 13 project.

They also approved the purchase of a Walk-n-Roll Packer and a manhole saw.

Erickson also asked them to approve an annual resolution, called for in statute, that allocates no more than 20 percent of receipts from the sale of tax forfeited property sales be used to acquire county parks or recreation land.


Vicki Doehling presented commissioners with three requests for gambling permits. One is from Dragonfly Mental Wellness Foundation which plans to hold a bingo event at Crooked Willow on February 6. The second was Leaf Valley Tom’s Chapter which wants to hold a raffle during its February 25 banquet. And the final one was from Minnesota Onsite Wastewater Association which requested a temporary one-day on-sale liquor permit for an event at Arrowwood February 7.  

Doehling also asked for several liquor licenses to be changed from the current owners of Carlos Creek Winery to the new owners which are the Bredeson’s son and daughter-in-law.

Douglas County property owner David Kent asked for his late payment of taxes penalty to be abated by the Auditor/Treasurer’s Office. The amount is $194.50. Doehling recommended this request be denied.

Commissioners did authorize Doehling to proceed with obtaining funds through the Help America Vote Act. The county is eligible to apply for $28,776.46. The funds will be used for improved security cameras which monitor the ballot drop off box.

Finally, Doehling worked with commissioners to set the County Ditch #17 liens for improvements made in a recent project. The county entered into a 20-year bond for the project which will be repaid by the property owners who benefit from the ditch. The board decided all lien amounts of $500.00 or less must be assessed in one year. The rest will be assessed over 20 years at 3 percent interest. The first collection year will be 2023.


Library Director Dawn Dailey asked commissioners to re-appoint two library board members to another 3-year term each. The board approved Bernice Trousil and Rebecca Albright.   

Land & Resource Management

Director Dave Rush asked for and received permission to approve disposal hauler, excavator/landscaper, and sign erection maintenance licenses. Commissioner Jerry Rapp abstained from voting on the excavator/landscaper license because his company was among those seeking approval.  

Commissioners also approved a development contract and the Final Plat for Hertwig Point which is a housing project on and near Lake Miltona. Among other requirements, the developer will install and pay for a storm water management system, streets, and the setting of iron monuments. The developer will also submit an erosion control plan prior to site grading. This plan must be inspected and approved by the county.


Commissioners approved payment of the monthly bills.


And the board approved raising the minimum salaries for elected officials. This sets the base amount so someone running for an office knows, in advance, what that position will pay.

The following amounts were set:

  • Attorney $95,000
  • Auditor/Treasurer $73,000
  • Recorder $57,700
  • Sheriff $95,000  

In other business, Drainage and Ag Inspector Tom Anderson received approval to discuss with Carr’s Tree Service a contract for work on County Ditch 6 which needs a number of large trees to be cut down and removed.


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