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County Board 2013 housekeeping chores

Fri, Jan 11th, 2013
Posted in All Government

Judge Benson administers oath of office to County Assessor Cynthia Blagsvedt.

January 8 was the first meeting for the county board in 2013. Judge Robert Benson administered the oath to re-elected commissioners Tom Kaase, Chuck Amunrud, and Marc Prestby. All had ran unopposed and were returned to their seats on the board. Commissioners stand for election every four years.

Randy Dahl was elected board chair and Chuck Amunrud was elected vice-chair. Dahl thanked the other commissioners and the county staff for their efforts in service to the county. As to the future, Dahl said he was looking forward to the dedication of the Veterans Cemetery.

Judge Benson also administered the oath of office to county assessor Cynthia Blagsvedt.

Ronald Gregg has been serving as the acting county engineer for several weeks. His four-year appointment as Fillmore County Highway Engineer began on December 31, 2012, with an annual salary of $98,568.14.

A long agenda mostly concerning annual housekeeping business followed.

•The resignation of Danette Steinmetz, Fiscal Officer, was accepted effective February 28. Steinmetz has served the county for 37 years. Amunrud said, “She will be missed.”

•A non-union pay plan with a 1.5 percent adjustment was adopted for 2013. The 2013 merit pay plan with a 1.75 percent adjustment was adopted.

•A lease agreement with A+ Imaging Systems was approved for a replacement copier. The 60 month lease for the sheriff’s department was recommended by the Technology Committee. The approval was made pending the approval of the contract by the county attorney. The copier will serve as a scanner, copier, and fax machine. The lease will cost $133.82 per month plus an additional maintenance cost.

•Chief Deputy Sheriff Anthony Webber was reappointed for 2013 at a salary of $70,001.47.

•Sheriff Daryl Jensen reported that the county is compliant with the narrowbanding mandate since December 21. He thanked Kevin Beck, Emergency Management, for all of his efforts to get it done.

•The Fillmore County Journal will be the official paper, print the financial statement, and print the delinquent tax list for 2013. It offered the low bid for each.

•A portion of the tax forfeiture receipts will continue to be dedicated to parks and will be used for maintenance.

•The per diem rate for meetings will continue to be $40. There was some discussion that the rate may need to be looked at in the coming year. The cost to the county to increase the rate needs to be determined. An increase could help attract volunteers to fill committee openings.

•An amended 2013-2014 Joint Powers agreement for DFO Community Corrections was approved. The two-year agreement is subject to change on the payment rate. Bakke noted there will be a different director of the DFO which may lead to some changes. He added that we have some say in the control of costs. The first quarter payment of $89,490 to Olmsted County Community Services for DFO Community Corrections 2013 appropriation was approved.

•Numerous Community Services 2013 contracts and agreements were renewed. An agreement was renewed with physical therapist Lisa Stensrud at the same rate as in 2012. Community Services Administrator Beth Wilms services are shared with Winona County. Fillmore County will pay quarterly amounts to Winona County of $11,210.79 to be prorated among Social Services, Public Health, and Veterans for her services in Fillmore County.

•An access permit for a second access to CSAH 21 for Gary and Beth Redalen and Fred and Linda Meurer, Pilot Mound Township, Section 21 was approved. The second access will allow a safer entry point from the south due to a curve in the road and the slope. Zoning Administrator Chris Graves explained it was a unique situation. Both accesses will be used depending on the direction being traveled from.

•A checking account will be set up with $40,000 from infrastructure funds to establish an airport fuel account. County Engineer Ronald Gregg explained they need to order fuel to calibrate a 2,000 gallon tank at the airport. Auditor/Treasurer Shirl Boelter suggested the airport fuel will eventually be a money maker.

•Amunrud explained that a businessman with a business located along County Road 1 approached him about the possibility of bonding for work on County 1 due to the current favorable interest rates. County 1 is scheduled for work in about three or four years. The man had also suggested bonding for County 1 would not delay other needed projects due to funding. Gregg responded that there are options that need to be considered including plans for the rebuilding of the road.

•A resolution to establish an assessment to recover testing costs for possible contamination on the former State Line Motel property located Hwy 52, Mabel was adopted. Thomas Ferguson, owner, has been unwilling or unable to pay the testing cost of $2,443.10. According to state law, the property owner is responsible to the county for clean-up costs, administration costs, and all fees incurred for testing as well as clean-up. The county’s Clandestine Lab Ordinance allows the county to impose a special assessment against the property. The county has paid the bill for testing from West Central Environmental Consultants.

Kaase asked county attorney Brett Corson to notify the owner that there could be additional costs for county staff time from several involved departments in the county. These costs are not included in this special assessment.

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