Houston County commissioners approved the MnDOT advance construction agreement to repave and do shoulder work on County State Highway 16 from Spring Grove to the Iowa state line at the April 11 regularly scheduled meeting. Chairman Dewey Severson called the meeting to order at 9 a.m. and led the board and the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. The board approved the meeting agenda as amended and the minutes from the April 4 regularly scheduled commission meeting.
Commissioners in attendance included Chairman Severson, Eric Johnson, Robert (Bob) Burns, Bob Schuldt and Greg Myhre.
County Engineer Brian Pogodzinski explained that on the agenda request form, “It is a federal paving project on CSAH 16 that will utilize federal funds allotted in the State Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP) for fiscal years 2023 and 2024.”
The county received one bid for the road resurfacing and a couple feet of shoulder work on each side of the highway. According to Pogodzinski the county received one bid which was 3.5% over the total cost estimate of $1,664,444.00. The agreement explaings that 80% of eligible costs are eligible for STBG funds in federal FY 2023 and 2024 and 80% of eligible costs will be eligible for HSIP funds in federal FY 2023.The balance will be paid by the county.
The project will be completed in 2023.
Supporters of “no gun control” filled the commission room to request that Houston County pass a second amendment dedicated county resolution also referred to as a gun sanctuary county resolution at its April 25 meeting. Speaker Steve Skifton, Houston, shared with the commissioners that there are 87 counties in Minnesota and 18 counties have already passed resolutions and 39 countries are in the process of passing it, which he believes says a lot.
In one unanimous motion the commissioners approved the consent agenda including:
1. Changed the employment status of Lead Social Worker, Erin Cognac, and Administrative Assistant, Lauren Felton, from probationary to regular.
2. Accepted the resignation of Nicole Karl, Child Support Enforcement Aide. 3. Reassigned Steven Garrett to full-time Lieutenant. 4. Initiate a search for a Deputy Sheriff.
The commissioners approved leasing the seven plus acres at the airport land for the 2023 growing season. The rental fee is $120 an acre and if the airport project disturbs the land the county will reimburse the renter for the rental fee only.
The commission did not approve the 2023 Wildcat Park management contract because the agreement was not complete. The contract will be presented at the April 25 commission meeting for approval.
The board adopted Resolution No. 23-15 Resolution Authorizing Houston County Staff to Execute All Necessary Documents to Ensure Houston County Participation in the Multistate Settlements Relating to Opioid Supply Chain Participants, and in the Minnesota Opioids State-Subdivision Memorandum of Agreement.
In other business, the board:
•Approved renewing the recycling contract with Dynamic Lifecycle Innovations, La Crescent. “Prices have changed a little, some are up, and some are down,” explained Martin Herrick, environmental services director.
•Approved Sheriff Brian Swedberg’s request to apply for the $5,531.00 2023 State of Minnesota Boat and Water Safety Grant. Swedberg noted that this is the same grant that the sheriff’s department applied for last year.
•Approved a $30,000 resolving loan to Affogato Lane Coffee Company at 3.5% for seven years.
•Approved a $40,000 resolving loan to Western Son LLC at 3.5% for 10 years.
•Adjourned the meeting at 10:13 a.m.
The next regularly scheduled Houston County Commission meeting is Tuesday, April 25, at 9 a.m. in the County Commission Board Room 222, located on the second floor in the historic county courthouse, Caledonia, or via the county conference call line (312) 626-6700 enter ID: 994-7297-7175 and password 368422. Public attendees are requested to mute their line until addressed.