"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
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Same time, smae place

Sat, Jan 13th, 2001
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Monday, January 15, 2001

The Fillmore County Board met in regular session last Tuesday, completing the annual meeting tasks carried over from the previous meeting. At the top of a short agenda was the scheduling of the 2001 board meetings.

Following a brief discussion on possible alternate meeting times, the board set its regular meeting time as the second Tuesday of the month at 9:00 in the morning. After this decision was reached, Chair Helen Bicknese stated that the board would also continue to meet on other Tuesday mornings at 9:00, excluding the fifth Tuesday of the month. The board also agreed to revisit the meeting schedule later in the year.

A New Van
The Veterans Services/Emergency Management Director, Larry Hunt, was the first visitor on the agenda. Hunt asked the board for approval to purchase a new van to replace the one he has been using. Hunts department provides veterans with transportation services to the VA Hospital.

The board approved the request to purchase the van on a low bid of $23,460 from Marchant Motor in Spring Valley. The board also decided to keep Hunts old van for use by other county departments. The old van has 170,000 miles on it and Hunt feels it is time to upgrade to a more reliable van with some features that make the van more accessible to handicapped or senior passengers.

In other related business, on a motion by Commissioner Duane Bakke the board approved setting the stipend for the volunteer driver of the Veterans Services van at $45 per day.

More Road Business
County Engineer Steve Voigt presented the board with the annual fuel bids from area suppliers. Hovey Oil Company was awarded the bid for the shops at Chatfield, Cherry Grove, Peterson, Harmony, Lenora, Preston, and the Resource Recovery Center. Greenway Coop received the contract for the Spring Valley shop.

The commissioners also gave Voigt approval to begin the negotiation process on right of way acquisition for road projects on County road 18 and County road 11. In response to a question from Commissioner Dahl on whether there would be any controversy associated with the property acquisitions, Voigt responded, "I havent been here long enough to know."

How many days in a day?
The board held a discussion on how many "per diem" compensations someone can receive in a day. It seemed that the discussion centered around a "what if" situation: what if someone attends two meetings in one day? Should they get two "per diem" payments?

While it may seem like the answer to this question is inherent in the definition of "per diem," Commissioner Gary Peterson wanted this clarified in the personnel policy. The board made the clarification on a motion by Commissioner Dahl, with a second by a somewhat puzzled Commissioner Bakke.

The County pays a per diem of $35.00 (per day) to some committee appointees, and also to Commissioners who officially represent the county at meetings on days when the board doesnt meet.

Joint Powers Flood Study
In other business, the board unanimously voted to enter into the Spring Valley Joint Powers agreement for a watershed/flood mitigation study. The project will be a joint venture between Fillmore County, the City of Spring Valley, Mower County, and the local Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD).

The agreement was crafted by the City of Spring Valley and the SWCD in response to last years flooding in the city. Utilizing the expertise of the SWCD working in cooperation with State and Federal natural resource agencies, the study will look at what can be done in the entire watershed to prevent similar flooding in the future.

Mike McGrath

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