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County employees recognized

Fri, Feb 15th, 2013
Posted in All Government

The Fillmore County board at their February 12 meeting held their annual recognition of employees for their long-time service. Service is recognized on five year increments. Twenty-four employees were recognized for either five, ten or fifteen years of service.

Two employees have served for twenty years including County Coordinator Karen Brown and at Highway Maintenance, Todd Kokinos. Six were recognized for twenty-five years of service including Lantha Stevens, Kim Richardson, and Joan Betsinger, all with Public Health. Also serving twenty-five years is Sandra Junge at Social Services, Kristi Ruesink at Extension, and Michael Chiglo at Highway Maintenance.

Kandace Johnson with the Auditor/Treasurer department was honored for her thirty years of service.

Each year the county gives a Safety Award. This honor went to Eric Paulson, Building Maintenance.

Veterans Cemetery

A couple of zoning issues were dealt with for the planned Veterans Cemetery. Stantec, which is doing the engineering work for the cemetery, is applying for a Conditional Use Permit on behalf of Fillmore County which needs to give its consent as the owner of the property. Zoning Administer Chris Graves noted there will be a public hearing on March 28. The property is currently zoned Ag except for a small portion which lies within the city limits of Preston. A motion was approved to authorize the CUP and to pay the fee.

Preston City Administrator Joe Hoffman had requested that the small parcel of land within the city limits of Preston be rezoned. A motion was approved to rezone the land from Industrial to R-1 and to pay the $200 fee to the city of Preston.

Commissioner Chuck Amunrud added this is another step in the process toward building the cemetery.

Other Business In Brief

•Lantha Stevens, Public Health, recommended that the position held by Tina Peters, PHN, temporarily be decreased to .8 from full time for the months February through May. Peters is studying for her Master’s Degree in Public Health. She needs the one day per week free to complete field experience in Ramsey County. Temporarily, some of her duties will be transferred to other staff. Peters has been with the county for 15 years. Stevens maintained the county will benefit from her additional experience at no cost to the county. It is expected that Peters will be returned to full time in May.

•There was some discussion on silica sand mines and the Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW) process in Winona County. An EAW is a six-page questionnaire and is used as a screening tool to determine if a more comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is necessary. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and the Minnesota Department of Health have suggested a more comprehensive study be completed for two proposed mines in Winona County. An EIS is much more detailed and expensive.

The concern is the concentration of the proposed mines in Winona County, the proposed processing plant near St. Charles, and proposed mines near the Winona County line in Fillmore County. At this time there are a total of four applications in process for Industrial Mines in Fillmore County. Commissioner Duane Bakke said it is up to us to make sure an EAW is complete. There is a 30-day comment period to express concerns and make comments.

•Bakke said the Association of Minnesota Counties (AMC) is in the process of getting the Magic Act reintroduced in the state houses.

•A resolution was adopted to support the grant application for the Bluff Valley Riders Snowmobile Club. The grant would be used for the installation of a snowmobile bridge over Canfield Creek in Forestville State Park.

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