Commissioners Dewey Severson, Eric Johnson, Teresa Walter, and Greg Myhre attended the October 5, meeting of the Houston County Commission. Chairman Burns was absent. Vice-Chair Greg Myhre called the meeting to order at 9 a.m. and led commission members and attendees in the Pledge of Allegiance. Commissioners approved the October 5, meeting agenda and the September 28 board meeting minutes. The meeting adjourned at 9:24 a.m.
There were no public comments or appointments.
Personnel Director Tess Kruger recommended that Kelly Rohland be transferred from Child Protective Services Social Worker, C41, to Adult Services Social Worker, C41. Houston County Sheriff Mark Inglett confirmed a lateral transfer and will become effective October 18, 2021. Commissioners unanimously approved Kruger’s recommendation.
Kruger asked commissioners to approve the PSAP/Emergency Management Coordinator C43 Exempt position. Approved.
Commissioners approved Kruger’s recommendation to assign Mark Olson, Lead Jailer C32, to PSAP/Emergency Management Coordinator C43 Step 7 on the non-represented pay grid, effective October 6, 2021. According to Sheriff Inglett, Olson has experience with the radio system.
Commissioners approved Kruger’s request to begin a competitive internal search for a Program Coordinator/Lead Jailer C32.
Houston County resident, Kerry Ruffridge, requested a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to change the use of an existing building into a dwelling on less than 40 acres in Spring Grove Township. Both Amelia Meiners, Environmental Services director, and Commissioner Walter noted that the planning commission approved the application. Meiners mentioned concerns from one resident regarding sewage and water runoff, asking, “Where does it go? There is a vulnerable creek near this location.” Commissioner Dewey stated that the permits required by the state are safeguards that Ruffridge will follow all requirements. Commissioners unanimously approved the CUP.
The commissioners approved a CUP for Josh Ross to build an accessory building in a residential district in Union Township. Meiners mentioned that the building currently on the property is an old church, and Ross would like to add an accessory building to store larger equipment like a boat and tractor. In addition, Ross will need to adhere to all required setbacks required in a residential district.
The last action item is to approve the Multi-County Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) Employment & Training agreement and authorizing signatures. John Pugleasa informed the commission, “This is a pretty standard agreement; there is nothing new in it. We have had this agreement for years, and it predates my arrival in Houston County.” This is a four-county – Mower, Goodhue, Wabasha, and Houston agreement that provides employment and training to people receiving SNAP. Pugleasa finalized by stating that there are no county dollars in this project as it is grant-funded.
Kruger informed commissioners that she would like to invite three candidates for Environmental Services Director position to the October workshop meeting for interviews. Each interview will last one hour and follow a round-robin format, with each commissioner asking two questions of each applicant. Commissioners were all in agreement with Kruger’s request.
The next meeting of the Houston County Commission is scheduled for Tuesday, October 12, 2021, at 9 a.m. in the County Commission Board Room 222 located on the second floor in the Historic Courthouse, Caledonia, or via the county conference call line (312) 626-6700 and entering meeting ID: 994-7297-7175 and password 368422.