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County Board Meeting June 2

Posted: 06/03/2020

Author: Julie Anderson

Category: County Board, Departments, Public Works

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The Douglas County License Bureau will be extending its hours to provide even better service to residents. License Bureau Director Susan Crotteau asked the board of Douglas County commissioners to approve a 7 a.m. opening and 6 p.m. closing two days a week. The exact details are being worked out. The county will share them as soon as possible. Commissioners lifted the hiring freeze which will allow Director Crotteau to fill a vacant position at the license bureau.

Currently the license bureau is scheduling drivers license renewals and applications by appointment only and is handling motor vehicle issues like tab renewals by drop box, curbside service and in person service. Only ten people are allowed in line at one time.

Commissioner Meyer asked the board to clarify the county’s position on asking people in county buildings to wear cloth face coverings during the COVID-19 pandemic. The county does not have a policy that requires the wearing of masks, but it is making a limited supply available to people visiting the license bureau, library and county board meetings.

Assessor

Keith Albertsen presented a report to the board that documents another successful year of work by his staff. He said there continues to be a low volume of appeals. On June 15 at 3 p.m. there will be a County Board of Appeal & Equalization Meeting. At this time, one appeal is scheduled.

Assessor Albertsen presented to commissioners information that shows the Douglas County Assessor’s Office has consistently made fair and equitable assessments of property in Douglas County, therefore the State Board of Equalization has not ordered any reassessments. This marks 25 years of no reassessments which is an outstanding accomplishment.

Pope Douglas Solid Waste

Steve Vrchota asked county commissioners to approve a resolution authorizing the use of bonds to finance $5.2 million worth of future projects including an Ash Metal Recovery Facility building and equipment, Landfill Cell 3 expansion, land purchase from Alexandria Technical and Community College, Compost Facility building, MRF BF-2 conveyor replacement, facility security camera system with recorder and digital signage.

Sheriff’s Office

Douglas County Sheriff Troy Wolbersen asked the board to accept a $20,740.00 grant from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for boat and water safety.   

Commissioners also asked Sheriff Wolbersen about the civil unrest in the state. Wolbersen informed them five Douglas County deputies were sent to the metro area command center following a statewide request for law enforcement assistance. All Douglas County deputies are trained in mobile field force and have the proper equipment.

Public Works

 

Commissioners received the 2020 Drainage and Ag report from Douglas County Drainage and Ag Inspector Tom E. Anderson. The report outlines the scheduled work for 2020, requested repairs for 2020, work completed in 2019, potential repair expenses and a general notice to control or eradicate noxious weeds for 2020.

Land and Resources

Director Dave Rush asked the board to approve two excavator/landscaping licenses. He also asked for approval of a final plat for the Miltona Lakeview Estates First Addition, a preliminary plat for The Shores of Lake Ida and a preliminary plat for the Conkling Addition.

A conditional use permit for Randy Anderson to allow the operation of a rental storage business was tabled. The Planning Advisory Commission had approved the permit but, following concern by residents, commissioners would like more information to determine if  access to the storage buildings would be more advantageous from CSAH 5 rather than CSAH 34.

A conditional use permit for Jet Line Properties, LLC was approved which will allow for a sewer and pipe inspection, cleaning, and jetting service business.

The board approved the county hiring up to 16 AIS Inspectors to help combat aquatic invasive species in area lakes this summer. The inspectors are stationed at various public boat accesses to assist people with cleaning their watercraft before and after use of a body of water.

Director Rush also shared with commissioners an appeal of the Solid Waste Fee in Douglas County.  State statute provides for the imposition of this fee, which is currently $99 a year and is imposed on all  property owners in the county. Gerald Fiecke has asked the fee be removed from his property tax bill because he does not use the Pope Douglas Solid Waste facility.  Commissioners advised Rush to deny the appeal.

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