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County Board Meeting September 21

Posted: 09/22/2021

Author: Julie Anderson

Category: County Board, Departments

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The final Douglas County Board meeting in the courthouse boardroom was short and to the point. Commissioners will next meet in their new location which is the Administration Building at 822 Douglas Street.  That meeting is scheduled for October 5 at 9 a.m.

Board chairman Jerry Rapp was not able to attend this meeting, so vice chair Tim Kalina led the way.


Sheriff's Office

First on the agenda was Douglas County Sheriff Troy Wolbersen. He asked the board to accept donations from three separate sources, all to help cover uniforms and training for members of the honor guard.

  • Osakis VFW Post 7902 $300.00
  • Alexandria Elks Lodge #1685 $600.00
  • Integrity Title $3,500.00

Sheriff Wolbersen thanked the donors for their generous contributions. He says he takes a lot of pride in the honor guard, and he knows they take pride in their service.

Wolbersen also asked for board approval of a federal grant to cover the cost of a Douglas County deputy assigned exclusively to DWI enforcement beginning October 1, 2021

Social Services

Community Human Services Director Laurie Bonds asked for approval of the annual MFIP biennial services agreement. This agreement allows the county to work with Rural Minnesota CEP to successfully implement services to those in the Minnesota Family Investment Program and the Diversionary Work Program. These services include job development and retention, family stabilization, and a focus on assisting teen parents.  

Bonds also told the board an offer has been made to hire a new senior services coordinator. However, Bonds says the person can’t start until October 11 and that Land of the Dancing Sky will not be able to train the new person in time to offer Medicare informational services this year. Bonds says the gap will be filled by directing people to call the Senior Linkage Line.

Land and Resource Management

Director Dave Rush presented three items that were approved at the most recent Planning Advisory Commission meeting.

A Conditional Use Permit for a one chair beauty salon in LaGrand Township.

A Conditional Use Permit for Minnerath Investments LLC to allow a 33-acre aggregate mining and processing operation including an asphalt plant, which must operate outside of the shoreland zoning district. This property is located in Hudson township south of Interstate 94 and north of 87 in an area where there are 3 other mining facilities.

Preliminary plat for Longview Estates on the north side of Smith Lake. Thie developers plan for 25 lots to be developed.

 

Finance

Director Jill Frisell asked the board to approve the bills. Then they set the preliminary levy and budget hearing date. The budget hearing will be held December 2 at 6:30 p.m.

The preliminary levy is set at $30.860 million, which is a 5.89% increase. However, this just means the levy won’t be any higher than that. Commissioner Heather Larson said the board is working with county departments to get it lowered.  

One of the many responsibilities of the county board is to ensure the county ditches are in good working order. This is a complicated process and involves the landowners who benefit from ditch maintenance and improvements. At Tuesday’s meeting, the board approved $1.130 million in General Obligation Watershed Improvement Bonds to finance costs associated with the 2021 County Ditch 17 Repair and Improvement project. These costs are assessed to the landowners over a period of time but the county bonds to pay for the work upfront so it can be completed in a timely fashion.

Minnesota Counties Intergovernmental Trust Report

The annual MCIT report is included in the board packet. It outlines the MCIT-provided coverage to Douglas and other counties including: property, liability, workers’ compensation, cyber and property and liability endorsements.

Nonprofit funding request

The Runestone Museum Foundation will receive $10,000 in funds from Douglas County in 2022. This request had been tabled so commissioners could learn more out it. The Runestone Museum Foundation manages nine rescued original homestead buildings in its outdoor campus near Big Ole in downtown Alexandria. The buildings are in constant need of improvements and repairs. The museum also maintains a six thousand square foot agriculture building and a nine thousand square foot main museum building. The museum is one of Douglas County’s main attractions bringing in up to 25,000 visitors a year. The foundation holds fundraisers and relies on memberships, donations, grants, and gift shop income. This is the first time it has requested additional funds from the county board.

 

 

 

 

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