At the July 25 regularly scheduled Houston County commission meeting, commissioners appointed Houston County Deputy Auditor/Treasurer Polly Heberlein as interim auditor/treasurer. Heberlein will serve the remainder of the elected term vacated by Donna Trehus.
Heberlein was selected from a field of four candidates, all of whom were interviewed by commissioners at the July 11 commission meeting.
Commissioners in attendance: Chairperson Dewey Severson, Eric Johnson, Robert (Bob) Burns, Bob Schuldt (attended via Zoom) and Greg Myhre.
Chairperson Severson called the regularly scheduled meeting to order at 9 a.m. Severson led his colleagues and the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. The board approved the meeting agenda as amended, the minutes from the July 11 regularly scheduled commission meeting, and the minutes from the July 18 workgroup session.
A public hearing was held to allow interested individuals an opportunity to voice their opinion and ask questions regarding the updated Houston County comprehensive land use plan. There were no public comments. Commissioners unanimously approved adopting the updated Comprehensive Land Use Plan.
According to the public hearing notice, “Copies of the proposed comprehensive land use plan are available for viewing online at: https://tinyurl.com/HoustonCountyLandUse. Hard copies can be requested from the Zoning Office, located at 304 South Marshall Street – Room 209, Caledonia, Minn., or viewed during regular office hours at the Auditor’s Office, located at 304 South Marshall Street – Room 116, Caledonia, Minn.”
Commissioners heard three presentations: Ross Reichard, Southern Minnesota Regional Medical Examiner’s Office, Gerd Clabaugh, Minnesota Counties Intergovernmental Trust (MCIT), and the final presentation of the day was the Houston County Historical Society (HCHS).
HCHS president Shirley Johnson and vice-president Debra Wray thanked the commissioners for their support of the Historical Society. Johnson reported on the group’s activities over the past year including replacing the roof on the Presbyterian church. “Our goal is to get roofs on these buildings that will last a long long time,” she said. The Society has also upgraded the electric because of the poor service, and still working on getting the parking lot paved. Johnson reported that they are recovering from COVID-19 and had a “nice number of visitors” over the past year representing 25 states. The organization is in need of volunteers. The ladies also shared information about upcoming exhibits and programs. In conclusion, Johnson invited commissioners to stop by the museum during the upcoming Houston County fair.
Commissioners accepted auditor/treasurer Donna Trehus’s recommendation to purchase 33 upgraded Poll Pads, sleds, and transport cases plus three new Poll Pads including printers, cords, transport cases and first-year license from KnowInk estimated at a cost of $19,297.50 in 2024. Being that there are not any elections this fall and not budgeted for in 2023, the cost will be included in the 2024 budget.
Wildcat Park is to get a new boat dock. Commissioners approved the purchase of a new 6’ boat dock to replace the current south boat dock at Wildcat Park.
In other business, the board:
• Reviewed the Annual Disclosure of Tax Increment Districts for the year ended December 31, 2022, for the city of Caledonia presented by David Drown Associates, Inc. Public Finance Advisors.
• Temporarily increased technical clerk, Jennifer Burrichter’s workload from three-quarters time to full-time from July 31 through August 26 to meet the demands of the Houston County Fair.
• Assigned Liza Jandt to Lead Child Support Officer, and Lori Feldmeier to Lead Child Eligibility Worker.
• Reassigned Eligibility Worker Melissa Jordan to Child Support Officer, and approved advertising for a full-time eligibility worker.
• Accepted Social Worker Alexie Krause’s resignation, and approved advertising for a full-time social worker to replace her.
• Accepted Jailer/Dispatcher Patricia Krall’s resignation.
• Accepted a $200 donation from the Brownsville VFW. The county’s Veteran Services Office will use the donation for any veterans’ needs.
The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Houston County Commission is Tuesday, August 1 at 9 a.m. in the County Commission Board Room 222, located on the second floor in the historic county courthouse, Caledonia, or via the county conference call line (312) 626-6700 enter ID: 994-7297-7175 and password 368422. Public attendees are requested to mute their line until addressed.