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Airport to get Fixed Base Operator building

Fri, Aug 15th, 2008
Posted in Government

PRESTON - An amendment was approved to reflect a corrected design for the Fixed Base Operator (FBO) building for the Fillmore County Airport at the county board's August 12 meeting. The low quote from Northland Builders, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, in the amount of $163,954 was approved on May 27, 2008. The original design did not have the orientation of the building correct or the location of the door. Questions about the state's Automated Weather Observation System (AWOS) and whether the building would interfere with it had to be answered.

County Coordinator Karen Brown assured the board that if the AWOS had to be moved that it would not be at the county's expense. The cost of the building with the corrected design as quoted by Northland Builders will be $175,472. With the anticipated 50-50 cost share with the state, the changes will cost the county an additional $6,000. Commissioner Marc Prestby was concerned about the reliability of getting the state funds to cover 50% of the cost. Chairman Randy Dahl said that the state funding for the cost share should be there next year. There is also a possibility that the county could receive a 95-5 cost share from the federal government.

The motion to approve the design and cost change was approved. Prestby voted against.


Semcac Executive Director, Terry Erickson, and several members of his staff gave an update on their programming and made 2009 budget requests. The community action organization serves eleven southeastern counties. Erickson noted that this past year has been especially difficult due to the flooding which affected some of the people they serve and their own facilities in Rushford.

Debbie Betthauser, senior nutrition and services, reported that more meals were served in Fillmore County than in any of the other ten counties. There are eight dining sites in the county, plus Meals on Wheels. She noted increased food prices and a 28% increase in delivery costs. This was the 35th anniversary of the nutrition program. The program targets low income groups with 42% being at the poverty level. Sixty-four percent of the Meal on Wheel recipients are over 80 years old.

Sharon Rustad, retired and senior volunteer program, praised the 55 and older volunteer group. They helped clean basements and do mold control after the flood and helped rake yards, weed gardens, wash windows, and more.

Barb Jilk added that they get called when people fall through the cracks. People that are below 200% of poverty and frail seniors are targeted. She said that a program they are pushing called "Files for Life" helps people organize medical information and emergency contacts to be displayed in a folder on their refrigerator where emergency personnel can find it.

Transportation Director Erlene Welshons explained that there had been a marked increase in rides from 2006 to 2007. Semcac buses or volunteer driven private vehicles provide transportation for medical appointments, grocery shopping, daycare and more.

Semcac also offers programs to help with heating expenses and weatherization, head start, housing rehabilitation, family planning and reproductive health care, assistance in completing applications for assistance, and help in emergency situations.


Mike Frauenkron detailed his 2008 county feedlot report for the state. He noted that there is a reduction in "feedlots" mostly due to a change in definition. The state used to recognize anything over 10 animal units as a feedlot, now it is anything with 50 or more animal units. Frauenkron admitted that the state requires a lot more book work so that they can follow up on their programs. The state does give counties incentives to do that work.

The board authorized the 2008 report and 2009 plan to be signed off on. Commissioners praised Frauenkron on the good job he does.

County Farm

Commissioners discussed the possibility of offering part of the county farm for sale. Commissioner Duane Bakke said that he felt that it might be good to 'fish' again and see if they can get a good bid. He suggested that much of the farm is of no use to the county. Prestby added that the last time part of the farm was sold they saved the tillable land which offers the county some income. Dahl agreed that he would like to see what interest there would be. Amunrud commented that he wasn't sure if it all should be sold, but that they should explore its value. No decision was made.

Budget Proposals

The board continued to hear department budget proposals for 2009. Elected department heads affirmed their salary request for 2009.

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