A discussion carried over from the Solid Waste committee dominated much of the May 2 county board meeting. County Coordinator Bobbie Vickerman said the committee wants to keep moving forward.
A ramp option or conveyor to feed refuse into the compactor had been discussed in committee. The committee recommended a stationary conveyor due to efficiency, cleanliness, and safety considerations. The 60 inch wide belt that runs along a 32 foot belt path will be purchased from KVA Engineering, Inc. at a cost of $59,973, including installation. The funds will come out of Solid Waste reserves.
It has been six months since the Solid Waste Administrator retired. An agenda item to advertise for a Solid Waste Coordinator recommended by the personnel committee was put on hold until the next board meeting. Commissioner Marc Prestby wants a cost analysis from Harter’s Quick Clean-up, if Harter’s were to provide their own administrator. He wants to compare their cost to what it will cost the county to hire the administrator or coordinator.
Commissioner Duane Bakke said it has been difficult without an administrator at the Recycling Center, insisting the administrator has a lot of responsibilities. He added that a recycling educator is needed to get SCORE funding.
There had been discussion of a combined position, which would include an education coordinator and the solid waste coordinator.
Bakke asked if the county’s garbage ordinance restricted where garbage produced in Fillmore County goes. Matt Harter said he did not know of any restrictions on transferring garbage from one county to another. The question came up because of a request to take garbage generated on the Fillmore County side of Chatfield to Stewartville. Bakke noted that Olmsted County requires all trash generated in Olmsted County to go to Olmsted County. Harter said the weight of refuse generated in Fillmore County should still be reported even if hauled out of the county.
Director of Nursing Jessica Erickson asked the board to consider a resolution in support of HF1385/SF1143. These bills would increase the minimum medical assistance reimbursement for all public health nurse family home visits to $140 after July 1. The home visits are targeted to mothers and their children up to three years of age. Vickerman added it is one of the county priorities for this legislative session.
Eric Courrier started as an intern with Public Health in January. He presented to the board the various areas he worked in during his internship which is ending this day. He has worked on educational displays, updated contact lists, conducted traffic assessments of seat belt use and distracted driving, conducted tobacco audits, and gave presentations on healthy fats, dementia, healthy beverages, stress management, and radon clinics. He thanked the board for the opportunity, adding that he learned a lot.
Other business in brief
• There was a long discussion on the first reading of updates to the county’s paid time off policy. Human Resource Officer Kristina Kohn said she had received several comments on the policy. The discussion centered on the ability to accumulate PTO hours. Bakke suggested capping the number of hours that can be accumulated at 400. Those with over 400 hours now would have to reduce that number by 50 hours per year until down to 400. Employees get 80 PTO hours per year. Employees with 400 or more accumulated PTO hours now would have to use the 80 plus another 50 each year until accumulated hours are no more than 400. He said under his proposal there is no more accumulation, but one must work down to 400 hours.
Commissioner Mitch Lentz was in favor of not accumulating hours.
• The resignation of Debra Martin, Home Health Aide, was accepted effective April 26. She was thanked for her 17 years of service.
• A Hangar Lease Agreement at the Fillmore County Airport with Loren and Mary Finseth was approved.
• Approval was given for the purchase of a 14,000-pound Towmaster TC14 D trailer for the Highway Department. The low bid from a Litchfield dealer in the amount of $7,057 was approved. The trailer will be used to haul the skid loader.
• A request from the Highway Department to hire three temporary summer employees was approved.