Houston County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, July 26, at 9 a.m. at the historic county courthouse in downtown Caledonia.
Chairman Greg Myhre led commissioners and the public in the Pledge of Allegiance. Commissioners approved the July 26 meeting agenda with two changes, one to the consent agenda and one additional action item, the July 12 regular board meeting minutes and the July 19 workgroup session minutes.
Commissioners included Myhre, Teresa Walter, Robert (Bob) Burns, Eric Johnson, and Dewey Severson.
Approved action item number 7, resolution number 22-37 declaring a state of emergency due to severe storms, heavy winds, heavy rains, and tornado on Saturday, July 23. Emergency Management Director, Mark Olson confirmed that the resolution is required to qualify for funding. The state reimburses 75% of the costs.
Olson shared, “So far, I have received approximately $110,000 worth of reported damages, costs, that we will try to recuperate between cities, township, and the electrical cooperative, MiEnergy. I am still waiting on the city of Houston.”
The board went into closed session at 9:08 a.m. according to Minn. Stat. 13D.05, Subd. 1(d), attorney – client privilege to consider the recent MAPE arbitration results. Commissioners returned at 9:52 a.m. Houston County Attorney Samuel Jandt summarized, “We are back in open session after meeting with the board pursuant to Minn. Statute 13D.05, Subd. 1(d). The board continues negotiations with MAPE representatives.”
At the end of the meeting, the board went into closed session at 10:39 a.m. according to Minn. Stat.13D.05, Subd.3(a) to evaluate the performance of an individual who is subject to its authority. Commissioners evaluate two department heads, IT Director Andy Milde and PHHS Director John Pugleasa.
In other business, the board:
• Approved consent agenda item number 1, the annual disclosure of tax increment districts for the year ending December 31, 2021;
• Approved six personnel issues on the consent agenda including the resignation of Shane McCabe, conduct a search for a highway department mechanic and eligibility worker. Hire Kyli Gobrecht as a child protection social worker, change the status of Deputy Sheriff Isaiah Bunke from probationary to regular, and temporarily change Janet Becker’s work assignment from 32 hours a week to 40 hours a week on a as needed basis until the return of the highway department’s accountant;
• Approved the Collaborative Design Group’s $49,880 proposal to conduct a Facilities Utilization Study of the old jail, courthouse, and the community services building.
• Approved Memorandum of Understanding with LELS #60, LELS #237, LELS #415, MAPE, and AFSCME regarding the Health Care Savings Plan language in the CBA.
The next regularly scheduled Houston County Commission meeting is Tuesday, August 2, 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.