At the county board’s November 27 meeting, scheduling for upcoming meetings was discussed. The Truth in Taxation hearing will be held December 11, 6 p.m., after an afternoon board meeting. This is an opportunity for citizens to hear a report on next year’s budget and levy and a review of the current year. The hearing gives the public an opportunity to become more informed about the proposed budget and levy and to participate in the discussion.
The preliminary levy was set in September. Property owners have recently received notice of proposed property taxes for 2019.
County Coordinator Bobbie Vickerman discussed Land Records Department positions. A motion to elevate the position of office support specialist to account technician lead was approved as recommended by the Personnel Committee. The Land Services Director/Assessor will supervise this person. Approval was also given to advertise for an account technician to replace an elected officer (Heidi Jones).
The board has started the process to hire a Land Services Director to replace retiring county assessor Cindy Blagsvedt.
Approval was given to make budget adjustments related to the new Land Services structure. Vickerman said it will not change the budget or levy but only move dollars around within the budget.
Newly elected officials will be sworn in at the January 8 meeting, which will also be the annual meeting. There will be a board meeting on January 22. Another meeting may be scheduled in January if need be.
The last meeting this year will be December 18. Rep. Greg Davids and Senator Jeremy Miller will attend that meeting to discuss 2019 legislative priorities.
Other business in brief
•The Minnesota Counties Intergovernmental Trust dividend in the amount of $98,341 has been received. In the two prior years this dividend was used to pay for courthouse security equipment. Approval was given to put the dividend dollars into the Infrastructure Fund. Some of the dividend will be used to pay for two people to attend a safety meeting. About two-thirds of the dividend is attributable to workers compensation and the other third is attributable to property and casualty coverage.
•County Engineer Ron Gregg explained that the reconstruction of CSAH 5 through the city of Wykoff from the intersection of Highway 80 and CSAH 5 north .4 miles on CSAH 5 will require an application for a variance. Minnesota rules for state aid operations require a 30 mph design speed. He said at best they can squeeze in a 25 mph curve because a 30 mph curve would encroach on a residence. A resolution to ask for a variance was approved.
•Sheriff Tom Kaase requested and received approval to sell three DUI vehicle seizures at an auction company in Wisconsin.
The sheriff’s department had leased three vehicles through Enterprise Fleet Management earlier this year (two Ford Explorers and an Equinox). Kaase requested and received approval to lease a Dodge Durango through Enterprise as discussed in the Law Enforcement committee.
Approval was given to begin the hiring process for a chief deputy. Kaase said he and Sheriff-elect John DeGeorge have been meeting and talking to make a smooth transition.
•A conditional use permit for Linnea Weiser, Bloomfield Township, was approved as recommended by the Planning Commission. Weiser is purchasing 16 acres including the club house on the former golf course near Spring Valley. The Agricultural Tourism CUP will allow her to rent out the existing club house for weddings and other events. Two conditions were attached to the CUP: must have liability insurance and music must cease by midnight.
•Jessica Erickson, in her capacity as the Community Health Service (CHS) administrator for the Houston-Fillmore Joint Board of Health, recommended updating current funding percentages used for grant applications to 53% Fillmore (population 20,979) and 47% Houston (population 18,761). The Joint Board of Health develops and maintains community health service under local administration.
She reviewed the bylaws, adding that each county is responsible for how they spend their funds and the joint board should meet four times per year.
•A three-year contract and an invoice from SHI in the amount of $45,898 was approved for renewal of Microsoft assurances. The invoice covers from November 1, 2018, to December 31, 2019. Vickerman noted the funds are in the budget.