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Commissioners Report: County Board prefers E-85

Fri, Oct 6th, 2006
Posted in Government

Highway Engineer John Grindeland requested authorization to purchase four new pick-ups at the October 3 meeting. Grindeland was asked by board members to go back and get bids for the four new pick-ups that could burn either E-85 or gasoline. The current bids for the 2 F-150 Ford 4x4 super crew and the 2 F-150 4x4 regular cabs was to total $85,376. Chairman Duane Bakke said that he felt the vehicles should use E-85 fuel. He insisted that if Hennepin County can use bio-diesel and E-85, that we should be able to also since we have an ethanol plant right here. Ford apparently makes pick-ups that will use E-85, but this is an option and not standard. Commissioner Randy Dahl agreed that the vehicles should be capable of using E-85. The decision on the pick-ups was postponed to next week until E-85 compatible estimates can be considered.

Grindeland requested and received approval to purchase a new 2006 Case 590M Series 2 tractor backhoe from St. Joseph Equipment at the low bid of $30,885.00. Grindeland requested authorization to replace existing fuel pumps and the current fuel system for county vehicles. He estimated the cost to clean and convert the existing tanks and to purchase new pumps will cost up to $15,000. He said that the existing pumps are 30 to 40 years old. The new pumps would allow authorized personnel to use a key reader for access. Commissioner Marc Prestby insisted that the need was definitely there.

Mr. Grindeland also requested and received approval to pay landowners along CSAH 2 for right-of-way and fences and trees. The payments for twenty-one landowners total $45,269.33.


Michael Frauenkron, feedlot officer from the Zoning Department, detailed the work plan for 2007. He noted that the plan is the same as 2006 with some modifications. The total number of feedlots he works with are down from 1147 to 1057. Frauenkron said that the budget is the same as it was for 2006. The county receives a grant from the state in the amount of $106,754. The county has to match 70% of the grant or $74,728. Fillmore County was second in the state behind Stearns County for the highest performance credits for the number of feedlot inspections. Frauenkron stated that this will bring an additional $30 to $40 per performance credit or $20,000 or so from the state.

Duane Bakke asked about a manure 'loophole.' It is being looked at whether or not to require the farmer who generates the manure to also generate a management plan for that manure. Bakke asked if there was any abuse locally. Frauenkron replied that it is a problem with some turkey growers.

Frauenkron stated that he has only received positive feedback on the "Feedlot Korner" which provides information and facts 'to the point' for farmers in local newspapers.

The work plan was approved.

Social Services

Director of Social Services Thomas Boyd requested and received approval for a state funded contract with WDI. The grant is in the amount of $2,326 and is used for single adults on food stamps and for job search or training for these adults until the funds are gone.

The department has previously received approval for two new employees. Boyd noted that there is room for three more cubicles. The board agreed by consensus to go ahead and get more than one quote if possible to do the three cubicles. Boyd had one quote which put the cost at $13,500 of which the county's share would be $6,000. The rest would be paid for with federal money.

Boyd discussed with the board the possibility of "advertising for individuals, groups or organizations interested in providing Guardianship/Conservatorship services." He noted that there is now one provider in the county. He expressed a need to look for others to provide some competition and to have more options. He hopes to cut down on transportation costs. Boyd explained that the court orders the county to pay for the service. Board members by consensus gave him the go ahead to advertise.

Employee Compensation

County Coordinator Karen Brown introduced to board members recommendations for pay increases by Bjorklund Compensation Consulting. The study is supposed to help commissioners set wage scales that are competitive and help in recruiting and retaining employees especially those in the public health sector. Members decided to forward the information to department heads and to check it for accuracy. After careful review, board members will discuss the proposal at a later date.

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