Fillmore County proclaims April 2021 as Sexual Assault Awareness Month at their March 23 meeting.
Sarah Monroe, Victim Services, and Kari Berg, Corrections, reported that sexual assault is widespread. The three county area (Dodge, Fillmore, and Olmsted) of victim services served about 600 victims of sexual violence in 2020.
Sexual Assault Awareness Month was first observed nationally in 2001. Teal ribbons will be displaced around the courthouse square in support of victims and those who serve them. Programs are being scheduled throughout the month to increase awareness of the exploitation of youth.
The board authorized the chairman’s signature on the proclamation and approved planned events to increase awareness.
Highway Engineer Ron Gregg was authorized to advertise for bids for the T-Hangar project and taxi-lane construction at the Fillmore County Airport. With the recent passage of the American Recovery Act this project should be 100% funded with federal dollars. Normally, 10% of the project cost would be funded with local and state dollars. The Recovery Act includes funding in the amount of $8 billion for airports nationwide. The project is estimated to cost nearly $1.4 million. Bids will be tabulated for award recommendation at the April 27 board meeting. The FFA grant application will be submitted by May 3.
Other business in brief
• After considerable discussion the publication of the 2019 Audited financial statements in the Fillmore County Journal (the official paper) at the rate of $.99 per column, inch was approved with a 4-1 vote. Commissioner Mitch Lentz voted no. Originally, the bid was $.50 per column inch submitted by the Bluff Country Reader, which went out of business a few months after submitting the bid. The Fillmore County Journal agreed to print the financial statement at $.99 per column inch, which was its competing bid at that time.
Lentz argued that the financial statement could be published only on the county website, which would result in a note in the county’ next audit, but otherwise be of little consequence. County administrator Bobbie Hillery explained by state statute the entire financial statement can be printed in the official newspaper or a shorter version condensed during the audit can be printed. For the 2020 financial statement staff can work with the auditors to produce a shorter version. Hillery said normally with the exception of last year’s Bluff Country Reader bid, $.99 per column inch is a typical cost ($500 to $700).
Lentz argued that the financial statement could be published only on the county website, which will result in a note in the next audit, but otherwise of little consequence. County Administrator Bobbie Hillery explained by state statute the entire financial statement can be printed in the official newspaper or a shorter version condensed during the audit. For the 2020 financial statement staff can work with the auditors to produce a shorter version. Hillery said normally with the exception of last year’s bid, $.99 per square inch was a typical cost ($500 to $700).
• A special session county board meeting was held on May 15. The special meeting was scheduled to decide what to do with $18,000 of business grant funds. Two businesses that had been awarded ($9,000 each) were found to have tax liens on record with the Secretary of State at the time of application, so their request was disqualified. Checks had already been sent out to the other businesses on the list that had been approved at the March 9 meeting. The total requested by county businesses was about $1.86 million. The total available was $415,000. Certain parameters were used to fairly disperse the available funds. Businesses that were selected that hadn’t received any money the first round were awarded up to $9,000 and $4,000 if they had received money the first round.
After some discussion a motion was approved 4-1 (Lentz voted no) to disperse the $18,000 to four businesses ($4,000 Pedal Pushers Cafe, $3,000 Mabel Barber Shop, $9,000 Old Barn, and $2,000 Aroma Pie Schoppe. Lentz voted no, saying he just wanted to remain consistent.
• Terry Schultz, Building Maintenance, presented two bids to remove a satellite dish and concrete base at the county office building. It was decided that the highway department could probably remove the dish and see to its proper disposal.
• Ron Gregg discussed the Highway Users Tax Distribution Fund for local roads and bridges. The fund is built from fuel tax revenue, license fees, motor vehicle sales, and auto parts sales. The fund total is almost $2.5 billion. Twenty-nine percent goes to County State Aid Highways (CSAH). Sixty-two percent goes to state trunk highways and 9% goes to the municipal state aid street fund. About 2.5% goes to township roads and bridges. A Fillmore County recently constructed bridge near the Old Barn was featured in the state pamphlet and won an award from MnDOT for its construction. A second award was given for the concrete overlay project near Ostrander.
• Three telecommuting agreements were approved for Social Services employees (Kim McCabe, Valerie Arnold, and Susan Mandelko).
• A request to advertise for a replacement shop foreman in the highway department was approved.
• The Compensation Policy was discussed and will be brought back for the first reading with discussed changes.
• Draft changes to the Insurance and Other Benefits policy will be brought back for a second reading and final approval.
• Kim Harmening and Virgene Sprau were hired as roster nurses, effective March 24.
• Approval was given to change Ashley Simonson from a four-year RN to Public Health Nurse, effective April 2. No vacancy is created.
• Approval was given to close all but two post office boxes (466 and 627). Every department head agreed that the other P.O. boxes were not needed.