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Commissioners Report: New campus for Zumbro Valley Mental Health

Fri, Jun 15th, 2007
Posted in Government

Patricia Carlson, Executive Director of Zumbro Valley Mental Health Center (ZVMHC), updated the Fillmore County Board at their June 12 meeting on the progress toward consolidating its programs onto one campus. The new campus is located at 343 Wood Lake Dr. SE, Rochester, across US 63 from the old Fleet Farm Store.

ZVMHC is a 40 year old non-profit agency which employs approximately 140 people. It serves ten counties in southeast Minnesota. Fillmore County has been in partnership with the agency since its beginnings. More than 4,000 people from the region benefit from its services each year. In the past its services have been provided in various locations in Rochester and small facilities in Fillmore County. The new consolidated campus, southeast of the intersection of US 63 and US 52 will house all the Olmsted County facilities.

Part of the new campus has been in use since March 31 for day treatment, a Supported Employment Program and more. The Residential Program building includes a Residential Treatment wing and a Connections and Referral Unit (CRU) which will be moved into on July 20. The Main building for housing administrative staff and areas for individual appointments and therapy will also be moved into on July 20.

The entire project is to cost $8 million. Six million has been provided by Olmsted/Fillmore County tax exempt conduit bonds. Existing real estate has been on the market since October without a sale to date. Funding has been secured for all but $500,000. Donations are being solicited from several large donors and the counties served by the agency.

Fillmore County Social Services will donate $3,000 from their budget toward the Residential Treatment area. Carlson asked the county to donate an additional $10,000 which would come out of budget reserves. A one time appropriation of $10,000 was approved to be used for the CRU. Commissioner Chuck Amunrud cited the uniqueness of the partnership between Fillmore County and ZVMHC and that to deny the request would send a negative message and would not set a good example for the other counties. Commissioner Duane Bakke voted against. Bakke noted that when the new construction was approved, Fillmore County was not expected to contribute dollars from the county funds.

County Attorney Substitute

County Attorney Brett Corson who is in the Civil Affairs Unit in the Army Reserves is expecting to be deployed early in November. He suggested making the .4 attorney position held by Leigh Campbell a temporary full time position while he was serving in the military for a year or more. Corson also hopes to find an attorney within the county or an adjoining county to work part time to advise the commissioners and to supervise the department in his absence. The board gave him the go ahead by consensus so he could start looking for an outside attorney.

Toward Zero Death

A joint Public Health teleconference was held with Houston County to approve the Toward Zero Death grant. Sharon Serfling, Fillmore County Public Health Director, noted that the grant from the state Office of Traffic and Safety has been used since 2004. Monies from the grant are used for education in schools, drivers education, training in use of car seats, and more. The grant also helps with the "Dying to Get Home Campaign" and the "Safe Communities Coalition" which includes law enforcement, public health, schools, and highway engineers. Last years total grant was $23,500. The resolution for the 2007 and 2008 grant was approved.


A Conditional Use Permit was approved pending county attorney approval for Knife River's Lanesboro 250 Sandpit. A Reclamation Plan was submitted to the Zoning Office. The board modified the language in the plan and expects a representative of Knife River to sign off on the changes.

Zoning Administrator Norman Craig went over amendments to Sections 701-900 of the Zoning Ordinance. He noted that the Planning Commission recommended approval and that there were no comments from the public on the amendments at the hearing. The amendments were approved. Bakke said that this will give the subcommittee a clean copy to work with instead of several different drafts. Craig stated that notification will be printed in the newspaper that changes have been made. Bakke suggested that a lot of the changes are just clarifications or language changes.

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