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Gunderson encourages free enterprise


Fri, Oct 12th, 2012
Posted in All Features

By Karen Reisner

Jerome Gunderson, Mabel, came to the October 9 county board meeting to express his opinion during ‘citizen input’ on the frac sand debate. He prefaced his opinion by saying he has no connection to the business of mining frac sand what so ever.

Based on what he has read over the months of debate, he has formed his opinion. On aesthetics, Gunderson is not offended by the looks of quarries. As to the health concerns, everyone has played in a sand box. Acknowledging that processing the sand could involve the use of chemicals, Gunderson insisted we are subject to chemicals everyday including pesticides and herbicides in farming. He believes it is important that we adapt.

Many people take medicines and they can not be sure of the long-term effects that those medications may have on them. As to road damage, hundreds of trucks go by his place every day hauling corn, milk and so on. Haulers pay into dedicated funds with federal and state taxes.

Gunderson’s concern is free enterprise. He suggested many who complain about sand pits don’t have a sand pit and wish they did. Fillmore County may not have progressed as much as it could have because of overly conservative decisions over time.

He asked the board to give it some thought and look at the issue from the standpoint of free enterprise.

Other Business In Brief

•The open enrollment period for county employees for 2013 insurance will be from October 29 through November 9. Kristina Kohn, Human Resources, reviewed multiple insurance programs which the board renewed for 2013.

•Laura Wechmann will be hired as Merit Office Support Specialist for the Community Services Department as of October 26.

•Randy Brevig will be hired as Transfer Station Attendant as of October 26.

•A hauler agreement with Sunshine Sanitation, Stewartville, was approved for October 9 through December 31, 2012.

•The board approved the submission of the Automated External Defibrillator (AED) project to the Association of Minnesota Counties for a possible award. The $179,618 federal grant was awarded to the county recently and will be distributed over three years. The first year funding has been received and the money will be used to put AEDs in all squad cars. County Coordinator Karen Brown said with the AEDs readily available it will improve response times for heart events.

•Early this month some residents and the Mayor of Peterson expressed their dismay on KAAL TV News that the county did not intend to resurface a section of CR 25 through their city while working on the rest of the road. A letter of response is being prepared by the county engineer.

Commissioner Randy Dahl filled me in on the history of the issue after the board meeting. The county had an engineering plan completed for that portion of road going through the city of Peterson nearly a decade ago. The plan still sits in a drawer. Sidewalks and curbs and gutters along CR 25 in Peterson are not compliant with American for Disabilities Act standards. The condition of utilities beneath the street need to be assessed, repaired or replaced if needed. Years ago the implementation of the engineering plan to bring that section of road through Peterson up to code was voted down by the city. There was concern from residents about paying the necessary assessments for the upgrades.

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