A Christmas break for commissioners and added vacation for Teamsters
Douglas County commissioners packed a lot into their last meeting in October. A few noteworthy items were the new feedlot officer, additional vacation for Teamsters members, prayer on the courthouse steps and a Christmas break for commissioners.
The regular meeting for the fourth Tuesday of December lands on the 25th.
Land and Resources Management Director Dave Rush introduced the county's new feedlot officer, Deja Anton, at the October 23 board meeting. Rush said Anton has already attended the Minnesota Association of County Feedlot Officers conference.
"I think you'll find she has the right experience, having run operations and dealt with animals and farming, as well as having a background in education and environmental science," Rush said.
Anton joins Douglas County from Browerville. She replaces Andy Siira, who resigned to join the Department of Agriculture in May.
Three of five commissioners voted to allow an exception to the contract for Teamsters to carry over more than 30 vacation days. Commissioner Paul C. Anderson voted no and Dan Olson abstained.
Norm Salto, Jerry Johnson and Bev Bales felt that since the workers were required to put in more time for special projects, they should be allowed to keep the vacation time accrued despite the "use it or lose it" stipulation in their contract. A similar agreement was made for jailers when the jail was built.
Commissioners set the hourly rental rates for equipment used to perform work on non-county highway systems. Rates include an operator, equipment and overhead costs. A motor grader will cost $114 (summer) and $124 (winter); single axle truck $120 (summer); tandem axle truck $125 (summer); truck $133 (winter); SnoGo rotary plow $120; loader blower $115; tractor/mower $90; steamer with two operators and pickup $148.
Permission was granted to the Alexandria Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life group to use the courthouse steps and lawn for its "Walk for Life" on Sunday, November 4, from 1 to 3 p.m. The group will walk from Zion Lutheran Church down 3rd Avenue to Broadway, then down 7th Avenue and over to the courthouse for a time of prayer. More than 500 people are anticipated to attend the event.
The December 25 regularly scheduled county board meeting has been cancelled. Commissioners will discuss the 2013 budget at their December 11 meeting. The budget will be set at the budget hearing on December 12.
Crystal Dey Crystal Dey is a staff reporter for the Echo Press. Originally from Minnesota's Iron Range, Dey worked for newspapers in North Dakota, Florida and Connecticut before returning to her home state to join the Echo Press in October 2011. Dey studied Mass Communications at Minnesota State University Moorhead with an emphasis in Online Journalism. Follow Staff Reporter Crystal Dey on Twitter at @CrystalDey_Echo.