At the April 4 Houston County Commission meeting, the board renewed a 25-year lease with the Army Corps of Engineers to operate and maintain Wildcat Landing, a campground along the Mississippi River outside Brownsville.
Commissioners in attendance include Chairman Severson; Eric Johnson, Robert (Bob) Burns, Bob Schuldt, and Greg Myhre.
Commissioners in attendance include Chairman Severson; Eric Johnson; Robert (Bob) Burns; Bob Schuldt, and Greg Myhre.
County Engineer Brian Pogodzinski explained that the term of the contract, 25 years, is the same as the previous contract; the cost to the county is $500, which covers the Army Corps’ cost of administrating the contract. “The Army Corps of Engineers has been really good to work with the county on adjusting some of the terms to fit the county’s needs,” emphasized Pogodzinski. “They want to work with Houston County. They don’t want to really dictate everything. They really want to work with us.”
The Corps requires that the county submit a plan every year outlining the county’s plans for maintaining the park and any improvements. The Corps requested a long-term plan. The plan includes restrooms on the south end of Wildcat Park and maintenance of buildings. Pogodzinski emphasized that this can be changed anytime since it was a last-minute request and not run by the parks committee before submitting it to the Corps. Pogodzinski explained that the subcontractor must adhere to the minimum wage and track hours for sick time as outlined in the county’s contract with the Corps and that it is non-negotiable. Personnel Director Tess Kruger explained that the subcontractor must adhere to the Army Corps of Engineers contract, which will be included as an attachment or addendum to the subcontractor’s agreement with the county.
The county advertised for the Wildcat Landing Park manager position and received four applications. The interview committee, comprised of county commissioners, park committee members, and county staff, interviewed all four applicants and narrowed it down to the top two candidates. The committee voted four to two and selected the person they wanted to recommend to the commission. Since it is not an action item on the April 4 agenda, no action was taken. The park committee’s recommendation for a park manager will be placed on the April 11 agenda contingent upon the application submitting the requested information before Thursday, April 6.
Chairman Dewey Severson called the Houston County Commission 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 and the minutes from the March 28 regularly scheduled commission meeting, with Commissioner Schuldt abstaining since he was absent at the March 28 meeting.
Andrea Hinitt was hired as a full-time adult services social worker effective April 24. Finance Director Carol Lapham confirmed that Hinitt was a replacement for someone that moved to a different position. She is not a new hire, not an addition.
Anthony and Joyce Heppner submitted a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) application to operate an agriculture-oriented business in the agricultural district of Spring Grove Township. Environmental Services director Martin Herrick explained that it will be a small meat processing facility for beef, lambs and hogs, plus deer in the fall. The facility is an existing building and will be open on a limited basis. Traffic is estimated at two vehicles a day, and there will be no highway signs. In the future, they may add one employee. The CUP was unanimously approved.
In other business, the board:
• Allocated $1,000 from ARPA funds to each of the county’s food shelves – Caledonia, Hokah, Houston, La Crescent, and Spring Grove.
• Allocated $14,862 for a recycling trailer since the current trailer cannot be repaired.
• Adjourned the meeting at 10:21 a.m.
The next regularly scheduled Houston County Commission meeting is Tuesday, April 11, 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