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"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
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Tuesday, September 30th, 2014
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Request for “Group” EIS


Fri, Mar 29th, 2013
Posted in All Government

By Karen Reisner

Bonita Underbakke, Holt Township, thanked the county board at their March 26 meeting for the opportunity available to Fillmore County citizens to address the board. She requested that the Rein Quarry, Holt Township, be included in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that is to be completed for proposed industrial sand mines in Fillmore, Winona, and Houston Counties to be operated by Minnesota Sands, LLC. Fillmore County proposed industrial mines to be operated by Minnesota Sands are located in Pilot Mound Township.

The state Environmental Quality Board (EQB) appointed themselves to act as the regulatory government unit (RGU) for the Minnesota Sands EIS at their meeting on March 20 as requested by Fillmore County.

Underbakke was concerned about environmental impacts affecting water and air and negative effects on roads, bridges, and the tourism industry within the county. Concluding, she insisted it would be an opportunity to receive valuable data for the health and future welfare of the county.

Minnesota Sands volunteered to complete an EIS for the proposed mines in the three county area to be operated by them. The operator for the Rein Quarry is Reilly Construction. An Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW) has been done for the expansion of the Rein Quarry. The county board will discuss the EAW and make a decision whether or not to require the more intensive study (EIS) at their April 23 meeting.

Affordable Care Act

Implementation

Community Services Administrator Beth Wilms reviewed expected workload increases for the Health Insurance Exchange (HIX) and the Affordable Care Act (ACA). On March 29 Governor Mark Dayton signed HIX into law. The system for the exchange will hopefully be fully operable by January 1, 2014. Wilms noted that they will get more information over time.

An additional 465 Medical Assistance cases are expected. Additional staff may be needed at least on a temporary basis. Training needs are expected to increase. Eventually, various systems will be converted to Curam which will result in a 50 percent increase in efficiency. Until then, working with two different systems will mean an increase in the workload.

The state will receive 90 percent reimbursement for the implementation of HIX and ACA. It is not known at this time if the county is eligible for a similar reimbursement for their implementation work.

In November 2012 the county board approved the purchase of the OnBase with E-Doc Electronic Document Management System (EDMS) package for $129,660 from Winona County. The system purchase was 46.8 percent reimbursed by the federal government. Deb Ristau, Financial Assistance Supervisor, said they will start scanning next week and hope to have documents in electronic format by May. The computer system will reduce repetitive work, completing numerous application forms and providing efficient customer service. The system is expected to pay for itself in work savings in a relatively short period of time.

A purchase agreement with Edocument Resources was approved for EDMS software and annual maintenance costing $34,134. Additional equipment purchases to get the documents into electronic format cost about $16,000. There is about a 50 percent reimbursement from the federal government for eligible purchases. County coordinator Karen Brown noted there have been savings due to their collaboration with Winona County.

Other Business In Brief

•The low bids for bridge projects were accepted. Reilly Construction will do three bridge projects, two on county road 7, Chatfield Township, and one on county road 23, Holt Township. Icon Constructors, LLC will do the work for a Chatfield Township bridge project and a Carimona Township project southwest of Preston.

•A resolution was adopted to enter into an agreement with MnDot to use CSAH 12 and 21 as detour roads during the construction work on trunk highway 44. MnDot agrees to provide payment for use and maintenance of the detour roads.

•Assessor Ron Vikre requested and received approval to upgrade access to a data base at a cost of $800. He explained that access to the Zoning Office data base will help them keep track of new construction projects that are not completed in the current year.

•A resolution was adopted proclaiming April to be Child Abuse Prevention month.

•The resignation of Kristen Mathison, Public Health Nurse, effective April 19 was accepted with thanks. The advertisement for the replacement of a full time Public Health Nurse was approved.

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