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Commissioners’ Report: County government feeling the state pinch in small ways


Thu, Dec 23rd, 2004
Posted in Features

One strand seems to weave itself through each message presented by county department heads: the state is handing down mandates without providing any funding to aid in their implementation.

The state in its effort to have no new taxes has pushed responsibility for more and more to the local governments. Commissioner Randy Dahl told Judge Robert Benson, a state employee, in a side comment to ‘inform the state that we’re stretched down here’ (meaning local government).

Judge Robert Benson came to the commissioners on Tuesday with a request to use not more than $1,000.00 from funds leftover in a court administration fund for the purchase of a new computer for the courtroom. These monies would normally go back to the county. He apologized for forgetting about planning for it in the county budget.

Commissioner Chuck Amunrud was concerned about creating a new policy by supplying a computer to the courtroom. Judge Benson had donated the computer currently being used.

Commissioner Duane Bakke noted that he didn’t see where supplying computer equipment in the courtroom is county responsibility. The district court statute says that the county board shall provide ‘suitable facilities’ and shall be ‘responsible for the costs of renting, maintaining, operating, remodeling, insuring, and renovating those facilities.’

Judge Benson said that the state only provides a separate computer that is able to access the state information system. The county supplies the sound system and other electronics. Benson stressed that the computer is ‘integral to the system.’

Commissioner Marc Prestby inquired if the Judge had checked with the state to see if they would supply this computer. Benson held that the state doesn’t put computers in courtrooms except for their access computer.

The commissioners agreed by consensus for Judge Benson to work with County Attorney Brett Corson to provide a future policy for items necessary for a smooth functioning courtroom. Judge Benson admitted that there was a need for state and local governments to work better together. Commissioners also agreed by consensus to allow the carryover of funds for the purchase of the computer.

Rushford City Council Report: Final decision to be made on generators at next meeting

Fri, Dec 17th, 2004
Posted in Features

At the December 13 Rushford City Council meeting, Mayor T.S. Roberton emphatically told the Rushford City Council that a final decision on the back-up generators must be made at the next meeting (December 27). Brian Krambeer of Tri-County Electric an ..... 
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Harmony City Council Report: Council bids adieu to Mayor Runkel

Fri, Dec 17th, 2004
Posted in Features

Would you say “aye?” the motion read.   I would not, could not, Runkel pled.  Would you for the minutes, would you for the billings?  Not without seconds and not with our shil ..... 
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Wykoff man found guilty on meth charges

Fri, Dec 17th, 2004
Posted in Features

A jury found William Paul Miller, 37, of Wykoff, guilty on charges related to the manufacture of methamphetamine.

Miller was found guilty of seven counts of manufacture of methamphetamine, possession of a controlled substance, ..... 
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Commissioners’ Report: Bridge deficiencies top transportation funding needs

Fri, Dec 17th, 2004
Posted in Features

John Grindeland, Highway Department, fresh from an AMC (Association of Minnesota Counties) meeting asked the commissioners at their Tuesday meeting to talk to legislators about the need for a renewed commitment to the state bridge-bonding program. Gr ..... 
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Heartland hearing set for January 25

Fri, Dec 17th, 2004
Posted in Features

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s (MPCA) Citizens’ Board will consider an MPCA staff recommendation to approve a Supplemental Environmental Assessment Worksheet (SEAW) for the Heartland tire-burning plant at the board’s scheduled meeting on Ja ..... 
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Dance of the Oyster

Fri, Dec 17th, 2004
Posted in Features

Christmas Eve was mostly about tradition, leaving out all semblance of good taste. I dreaded it and at the same time oddly looked forward to it. It was the only time of year I got to see the oyster dance, which was both beautiful and a little frighte ..... 
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The Aliga Christmas hunt

Fri, Dec 17th, 2004
Posted in Features

December brought to an end the long rainy season in Aliga, Gabon, a tiny African village stitched haphazardly to the sandy Bateke Plateau. No electricity. No roads. I know. I wrestled a Land Cruiser out there in 1983 to build a Peace Corps school. Ea ..... 
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The Holidays in Fillmore County

Fri, Dec 17th, 2004
Posted in Features

Fillmore County is stereotyped as being dominated by Norwegian Lutherans who have a strong affinity for lutefisk and lefse. Nativity scenes and plastic Santas are the norm for yard decorations and an angel or a star tops off a well-lit Christmas tree ..... 
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