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Zoning Administrator Norm Craig to resign in November

Fri, Jul 25th, 2008
Posted in Government

PRESTON - Long time Zoning Administrator Norman Craig submitted his letter of resignation to the Fillmore County Board at their July 22 meeting. Craig has served the people of the county for twenty-four years and plans to retire on November 27, 2008. Chairman Randy Dahl recalled many of the zoning changes established during Craig's tenure including updating septic systems and feedlot regulations. Craig noted that when he started he wore several hats including zoning, agriculture, and solid waste. The board accepted his letter of resignation with thanks for his years of service.

Public Health Director Sharon Serfling asked for and received approval for the resignation of nurse Jodi Bergey who held a .6 position. In an effort in part to limit the department's budget needs, two of her current nurses, Tina Peters and Melissa Kiehne, have offered to adjust their hours and work load to absorb the duties of the vacant position. The board by consensus agreed to the arrangement. Serfling did retain the option of hiring a new nurse to fill Bergey's position if the need arose in the future.

Surveyor David Knutson who now works thirty-two hours per week said that he would like to retire late in 2008. He suggested that his department's budget could be significantly reduced if the position he now filled were to be reduced to a twenty-four hour per week position. Knutson explained that the work demand is down for surveying and expects that it will continue to be for some time. He noted that he may come back to apply for a reduced hour position, but knew that there would be no guarantee of his reemployment by the county.

Soil and Water

Conservation District

Donna Rasmussen asked the board to consider an agreement for technical support. USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has changed their policy in their partnership with the SWCD and will no longer give them free access to their computer network. They are now asking the SWCD to pay $3,000 per computer to work within the NRCS system. The SWCD has nine computers in the system. NRCS would continue to support only one, so to maintain the other eight within the NRCS system would cost SWCD $24,000 per year. Dahl noted that the NRCS is breaking what has been a handshake agreement for mutual support. Commissioner Duane Bakke suggested that the SWCD should think about a way to get reimbursed for the work they do to aid the NRCS, since they are no longer getting reciprocated for their work.

Other options for SWCD were looked into and it was determined that it would cost $27,000 for a one-time start up which includes buying a server and startup equipment. There would be an annual cost of $5,500 to maintain the network. Funding for installing the SWCD network will come from SWCD special project funds.

The Technology Committee recommended an agreement which has been put together by County Attorney Kelly Wagner for Fillmore County to enter into a contract with the Fillmore SWCD. The county Information Services Department will provide technical support for the SWCD's computer network at a rate of $50 per hour. The board approved the agreement which is to be reviewed on an annual basis.


The Fixed Base Operator (FBO) building project was discussed. Concerns about the orientation of the proposed building and the location of the door in the original plan were addressed. There is an Automated Weather Observation System (AWOS) (owned by the state) located just west of the proposed location of the building. If the height of the building were greater than 21 feet 3 inches, the accuracy of the system could be affected.

County Coordinator Karen Brown questioned whether the height of the weather station should be changed to allow for the safest orientation of the building during the winter. Bakke commented that people at the airport said 'flat out' that the proposed plans are wrong concerning the orientation of the building. The door should be changed from the side to the end.

Dahl suggested that they go back to WSB, an engineering firm, and get the specifications changed and then go to the low bid builder, Northland Builders, to have them make the changes in the plans. Commissioner Chuck Amunrud insisted that the building be built right. Brown said that a letter first has to be sent to the state to see if the weather system can be moved or made compatible to the specifications of the building and if doing so would cost the county.

Rural Addressing

Possible changes to the Rural Addressing Ordinance were discussed. A Public Hearing will be held for comment on proposed changes including that the county will be responsible for intersection signs and their installation, a $100 fee will be charged to property owners for new address signs only and not for lost or damaged signs of established addresses; townships will be responsible for notifying the county highway department for lost or stolen signs on township roads; and the county will be responsible for inspecting county roads for lost and stolen signs.

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