At the November 10 Fillmore County Board meeting, County Administrator Bobbie Hillery presented the Personnel Committee’s wish to bring forth the option of appointing the Auditor/Treasurer position.
Legislation (MS375A.1205, Subdivision 1) was passed in 2019 that lays out the process/guidelines for a county to make the A/T an appointed position. Why appoint rather than elect? Hillery spoke about the high level of duties required for this job. If a person were to be appointed by the board, that individual would be required to have certain qualifications necessary for the job.
Legislation gives the county board the authority to appoint an A/T under specific circumstances, including when there is a vacancy in the office. The county must publish a proposed resolution notifying the public of its intent to consider the issue once each week for two consecutive weeks. It must provide an opportunity following publication for public comment. After the public comment opportunity the county board may adopt a resolution that provides for the appointment of the office.
Hillery suggested the proposed resolution be published in the Fillmore County Journal for three consecutive weeks beginning with the November 16 issue. Time will be provided for public input at the November 24 county board meeting (beginning shortly after 9 a.m.) and the December 1 county board meeting (beginning shortly after 3 p.m.). After this second opportunity for public input the county board may make a decision.
A fact sheet will be put together detailing duties of the job. Hillery said we will follow all requirements of the state statute.
A motion to move forward with the process was unanimously approved.
Purchase of squad cars
Sheriff John DeGeorge requested permission to purchase three squad cars. The first request was for the purchase of a 2020 Ram Crew Cap pickup squad with equipment from the City of Mabel. The cities of Mabel and Harmony want the county to own the squad cars. The annual squad car operation cost in the amount of $12,828.29 will be paid for by each city and built into their contract.
Mabel currently owns its squad, which is a year old. Approval was given as recommended by DeGeorge to buy the year-old squad for $36,746.75, which is the estimated value after depreciation. He said with the county owning the squads it will simplify the contracts with the cities. This will be a one-time purchase from Mabel. Neither the county or the city will make any profit on the purchase of the used squad.
Harmony’s current squad car is four years old and at the end of its service life. The purchase of a 2021 Dodge Charger Squad car and equipment to replace the city-owned car at a total cost of $37,962.30 was approved. The annual squad car operation cost of $12,828.29 to be paid for by the City of Harmony will be built into its service contract.
A third squad car purchase, 2021 Ram Crew Cab pickup and equipment, to replace a 2016 Ram Crew Cab pickup owned by the county was approved at a total cost of $43,293.30. All three purchases were discussed and recommended by the Law Enforcement Committee.
Other business in brief
•An agreement between Fillmore County and MnDOT was approved. The state will provide payment to the county for the use and maintenance of CSAH 25 from TH 30 to TH 16 through the City of Peterson. The detour route will be used during the construction (mill and overlay) along the adjacent TH 250 from a half mile north of CSAH 8 to TH 30. County Engineer Ron Gregg said CSAH 25 can handle 10 ton loading. The duration of the detour is expected to be from May 1 through June 11, 2021.
The board also approved the advertisement for the concrete overlay of CSAH 21.
The low bid for the replacement of a bridge (concrete box culvert) on CR 102, two miles east of the Sumner Church, was awarded to the lowest of four bidders. The low bid submitted by Minnowa Construction was $89,357.50, which was significantly lower than the engineer’s estimate for the project. This project will be paid for with Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) dollars.
•Approval was given for a relocated field drive access off CR 15 for Matt Hellickson, section 26 Carimona Township. The old field access driveway will be removed.
•A change of grade (grade 11 to 12) for Erika Draper from a two-year RN to a four-year RN effective November 13 was approved.
David TerBeest was hired as an intermittent deputy effective November 13.
•Approval was given for the 2021-2022 Crest Cooperative agreement between Region 10 counties for mental health services. Kevin Olson said this grant has been in effect for several years; the amount of the grant is the same this year.
•Board meetings in December will be held on the regular schedule, first, second, and fourth Tuesdays (1,8, and 22). The December 1 meeting will begin at 3 p.m. and the Truth in Taxation hearing will begin at 6:30 p.m.
•Hillery reported that there have been three COVID positive cases within the courthouse. She said it is important for employees to let us know if they are tested for COVID. She asked that everyone be up front and honest about one’s health status. It was noted that Rushford-Peterson and Fillmore Central Schools have gone to distance learning. Jessica Erickson, director of nursing, said once it gets into a school district, it goes fast. Hillery said the schools are doing a great job and are being proactive with parents.
•Hillery reported that only 11 ballots came in after election day and most of them were from overseas/military voters. She thanked Charlene Meiners and everyone that helped with the election. There was a non-stop flow of people coming in and most were really patient. About 5,700 ballots were processed by the county office. Commissioner Randy Dahl thanked all the poll workers in cities and townships. They all did a great job, which makes the system work.