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County Board Meeting October 19

Posted: 10/19/2021

Author: Julie

Category: County Board, Departments

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The Douglas County Board of Commissioners met for the second time at their new location which is the Douglas County Administration Building at 822 Douglas Street.

The first order of business at the October 19 meeting was approving Caroll Suckstorff to continue to serve on the board of the Housing and Redevelopment Authority of Douglas County. This is a volunteer position. Al Glaeseman, Assistant Director, attended the meeting to present the resolution which was approved.   

Up next, the board approved the appointment of Rhonda Fuchs, who will serve as the Interim Veteran Service Department Head during the leave of absence of VSO Jake Turner. Fuchs will manage the department budget and daily operations of the Veterans Service Department in his absence, ensuring good customer service to the county’s veterans.

The board created a committee to study opening Douglas County to ATV riders. Two members of Runestone Off-road ATV Riders (ROAR) will be on the committee along with Public Works Director Tim Erickson, Park Superintendent Brad Bonk and commissioners Keith Englund and chairman Jerry Rapp.

Sheriff’s Office

Sheriff Troy Wolbersen asked the board to accept two donations: one from Jeanne Johnson for $200.00 which will be used for the fitness center and one for $300.00 from the Knights of Columbus, Alexandria to be used for the Douglas County Sheriff’s Honor Guard.

Public Works

Public Works Director Tim Erickson asked the board to accept a $2,800 donation from Brandon Manor Homes to be used at Chippewa Park.

He also asked commissioners to allow him to order a Motor grader now before prices increase. He reminded the board the funds for the machine are in his 2022 budget.  

Facilities and Maintenance

The board approved paying the bills for an unexpected sewer problem at the Administration Building. The repair cost $5,000 to dig up the sewer and $17,785 to replace it properly.

Land and Resource Management

Director Dave Rush presented the following items for approval:

Final Plat of Rasmussen Hope approved. The applicant will subdivide two lots from an 8-acre parcel in Hudson Township.

Conditional Use Permit granted for Central Lakes Storage in Carlos Township. The applicant was granted a permit in 2020 to operate a self-storage facility with 52 units in one 40’ x 200’ building. This permit will allow for two more buildings of the same size. The applicant has constructed stormwater collection and treatment facilities on the property to accommodate all three structures when completed.

Conditional Use Permit granted for a dog grooming facility in Brandon Township. Commissioner Meyer ensured that neighbors did not have unaddressed concerns.

Preliminary Plat approved for Nor Homestead which is a single lot with frontage on Lake Andrew. Rush told commissioners the applicant will be required to connect to sewer.

Mark Koep, Douglas County Feedlot Coordinator, was at the meeting to present the Feedlot Program Work Plan for the next two years. This plan is approved by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

The county regulates feedlots throughout the county. Owners need to be registered if they have 10 animal units within a shoreland area and 50 or more in other areas. The plan outlines an inspection strategy for the purpose of identifying pollution hazards and determining compliance with discharge standards, rules, and permit conditions. The county will conduct a majority of inspections at high risk/high priority sites within: shoreland, a Drinking Water Supply Management Area, a Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy, a Board of Water and Soil Resources One Watershed, One Plan, or other impaired waters.

Koep told commissioners he anticipates the number of registered feedlots will decrease from 325 to approximately 275. This includes beef and dairy farms.

The board approved the two-year work plan.

Auditor/Treasurer

Auditor Treasurer Vicki Doehling presented commissioners with a list of tax forfeited lands. She explained that before the county can sell them, her office must classify them. She and Assessor Stacy Honkomp viewed the properties and determined whether they should be listed as conservation or non-conservation land. Doehling said she and Honkomp agreed only one of the parcels, in Belle River Township, qualifies as conservation and therefore will be withheld from sale. The rest are all non-conservation parcels and will be offered for sale.

Following the board meeting, commissioners went into a Work Session to discuss the Sauk River Watershed District with Land and Resource Management Director Dave Rush and American Rescue Plan Act funds with Finance Director Jill Frisell.  

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