Monday, November 13, 2000
The county board was back in its chamber last Tuesday after having had a week off. The Commissioners, settled comfortably into their new, blue, high-back chairs, took on a full agenda as they got down to business.
Conspicuously missing was Commissioner Robert Underbakke who was recovering in St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester from a stroke suffered on November 4. Chairman Gary Peterson briefed the board on Underbakke’s stable condition, and all wished him well and a speedy recovery.
The real business began with Jail Administrator Tom Smith coming before the board with a proposal from DLR Group of Minneapolis. The board had recently instructed both Smith and Sheriff Jim Connelly to obtain a quote from DLR to look at how the county jail campus might be expanded to include a new courthouse.
Smith presented the proposal, but discussion on it was limited and brief when the commissioners saw the price tag of $11,000. Originally, the Sheriff and Smith had asked the board’s approval for spending $2,000 on a DLR Group study that could show how the jail itself might be expanded. The scope of the study broadened when the board added in a new courthouse in the hope of getting conceptual drawings of what a whole new county campus might look like.
But it was obvious that no one expected the expanded proposal to carry such a high cost, and on a motion by Commissioner Duane Bakke and seconded by Commissioner Helen Bicknese, the board approved the original $2000 proposal.Spring Valley Joint Powers
The Spring Valley City Administrator, Mike Bubany, was back on the agenda with a rewritten Joint Powers Agreement for a flood study to be conducted between Fillmore County and its Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), Mower County and its SWCD and the City of Spring Valley.
As the Commissioners began to review the revised agreement, Commissioner Bakke took exception to some wording which included "improving habitat for plants and animals" and allowing "environmental groups" to be included in the review of the study.
"Environmental groups is a red flag for me," exclaimed Bakke. "Will you also have ag groups in there?" he asked.
In a consoling manner, Bubany replied, "I don’t have a problem pulling out habitat improvement and environmental groups."
Discussions on the proposed agreement’s reference to environmental language broadened when .....[Read the Rest]