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Commissioners Report:Township representatives air opinions and questions

Fri, Mar 30th, 2007
Posted in Government

PRESTON - A Public Hearing for the Rural Addressing Ordinance Amendment drew several township representatives to the March 27 County Board meeting. Danea Larson, Rural Addressing, read the proposed amendment dealing with which government unit is responsible for damaged or stolen sign replacements at intersections of township, county and state roads. The new amendment adds more specifics so each governmental unit knows exactly where their responsibility lies.

Arlynn Hovey, Carimona Township, questioned why people have been missed when they are on the tax rolls. County Recorder David Kiehne, admitted that there has been some human error. Kiehne insisted that the rural addressing plan was a massive project and that the error factor is under one percent. He complained that many citizens failed to respond to the mailings.

Commissioner Duane Bakke expects that it will take much of this year to complete corrections. Bakke said that he hopes the novelty of stealing signs will wear off. Kiehne said that corrected signs will start to be put up this week. Bakke said that townships are responsible for all address signs. Chairman Marc Prestby added that townships have the option of installing new or replacement signs themselves.

The board approved the rural addressing amendment.


Zoning Administrator Norman Craig explained that Section 6 of the zoning ordinance is a large part of the total ordinance. Craig noted that there was a public hearing on March 15 for the numerous proposed amendments and that the amendments were unanimously recommended by the Planning Commission for adoption. Bakke made it clear that no part of the ordinance is "set in stone" and that changes can be made later on.

A 'prohibited use' discussed was that of private game farm which is defined as a property with a land occupier who raises animals which are fenced in for the purpose of allowing individuals to hunt, trap, or barter for a fee. Craig said that they were also looking at a ban for exotic animals. The board approved the proposed amendments to Section 6 unanimously.

• An access permit for Darrell and Julie Buenger to CSAH #40, Chatfield Township was approved. The Buenger's will pay for building the access.

Public Health Teleconference

Tom Bjerke, Houston County Board, chaired a teleconference to adopt a resolution to approve the Joint Fillmore-Houston 2006 LPH Expenditure Report. The resolution was adopted as was another resolution to have Sharon Serfling and Deb Rock, directors in their respective counties, act as agents for the County Joint Board of Health.

The Fillmore County Board approved the Expenditure Report individually as there are local tax dollars involved as well as federal and state.

Snow Events

Deborah Teske, Emergency Management, updated the board on her department's efforts to obtain federal funds to offset some of the expenses incurred by the two recent large snow events. The county met the guidelines for both February 25 and 26 and March 2 and 3. However, the state didn't meet their guidelines, so the loss was not sent to the federal government. The state has no money in the budget for this kind of expense. Teske stated that we jumped through all the hoops, but no funds.


John Grindeland explained that the salt shed in Peterson collapsed under the weight of the late February and early March snows. It will cost $8800 to demolish the shed and haul it away. The county will be responsible for $1,000, the deductible on the insurance. Grindeland expects there will also be the balance of the expense to rebuild over that allowed from insurance.

Housing and Redevelopment Authority

The county board received an invoice for $1,850 for administrative costs from the SE MN Multi-County Housing and Redevelopment Authority. The board had asked for an explanation for the invoice. Joseph Wheeler by teleconference gave a lengthy response.

The authority serves six counties including Goodhue, Wabasha, Dodge, Houston, Fillmore, and Winona. The program provides rental assistance for families that have incomes 50% below the county medium. Because of federal cutbacks through HUD since 2001, there have been shortfalls in recent years. Thirty families are aided by the program in Fillmore County and there is a waiting list.

Wheeler explained that they have eliminated five full time positions and a couple of part time positions in an effort to cut costs. The invoice is an effort to keep the program going asking the county to provide some funds to help make up the shortfalls.

Commissioner Chuck Amunrud noted that the county may not be obligated to pay, but in his opinion they should to keep the program whole. The board approved the payment of the $1850 invoice.

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