At the county board’s April 9 meeting, a request from the city of Preston to add new electric lines, transformer and electric service in a stand alone configuration on the north side of the courthouse was approved.
The reason for the service is to do away with the noisy generators that provide power for Trout Days vendors. This proposal is for a permanent electric service for the city. It will be completely separate from the courthouse. The county will provide a utility easement for the city.
Two options were presented. Preston Administrator Joe Hoffman met with Maintenance Supervisor Terry Schultz to look at the options. The board approved option one, as recommended by Schultz. It will be the least costly, will not disturb landscaping, and does not require crossing the county’s fiber optic line.
Preston City Attorney Dwight Luhmann drafted an easement agreement for housing the stand alone service on county property. Approval was contingent on review of the final easement agreement by County Attorney Brett Corson.
The city wants to have the installation complete prior to May 18, this year’s Trout Days.
Commissioner Randy Dahl commented that a transformer of this capacity could one day be used for plugging in electric cars.
Other business in brief
•A clarification was made concerning a 3-1 vote made at the April 2 meeting. A motion to authorize Rick Adams to repurchase forfeited property in Lanesboro “was” approved. The uncertainty was a question whether or not a unanimous vote by the board was required. It has been determined that a unanimous vote by the board is only needed if the land is in a restricted area. So the vote at the last meeting actually passed the repurchase, as this property is not in a restricted area. Corson, in a letter, explains that the information provided last week satisfies the requirements of the relevant statute. Restricted properties pertain primarily to the sale or use of intoxicating liquors. There was not a revote as chairman Duane Bakke stated after last week’s vote that the motion passed.
•Agreements with the cities of Canton and Harmony for the county to provide prosecution services in criminal cases were approved. The language is the same in recently approved agreements with the cities of Fountain and Mabel. Corson explained that the county acts as an independent contractor.
•Amendments to the Fillmore County Zoning Ordinance, Section 709, Solar Energy Systems, Accessory and the new Section 740, Solar Energy Farms were adopted. Zoning administrator Cristal Adkins said we will keep the existing section on Wind Energy Conversion Systems.
An access permit for Dave Kimber in the city of Canton to widen an existing driveway was approved. A permit for a driveway access to CR 117 from a new building site (five acre parcel) requested by Dominic Crawford in section 32 Fountain Township was approved.
•The implementation of the county’s breastfeeding policy was approved. Kristina Kohn noted there have been no additional questions about the policy or recommendations.
•Highway Engineer Ron Gregg requested an increase of $1,801 to the purchase price of a 2019 Mack tandem truck. The additional funding is needed for the installation of a lift kit which is needed for the installation of an underbody snowplow attachment. The request was approved.
•The Southern Minnesota Regional Medical Examiner requested an increase in cremation fees from $35 to $50. Board authorization is required for the increase and was given. The increase is effective May 1. The last increase was in 2014, from $30 to $35.