Grant awards, applications highlight county board meeting
Awarded grants and grant requests topped the topics at the Douglas County commissioners' meeting on August 14.
Sheriff Troy Wolbersen presented the board with two federal boating and safety equipment grants. The funds will supplement a state grant that will help acquire a 19-foot boat, outboard motor, accessories, trailer and a side-scan locator with an allocation of $27,950 and an additional $2,106 provided for 12 hazard regulatory buoys.
The board also accepted a grant from the Minnesota Department of Corrections for work release services for 2013. The program allows state inmates who have reached the last four to six months of their sentence to be released during the day to work. Wolbersen said the aim, generally, is to assimilate local people back into the community.
The grant is for an amount of up to $95,000 of which the state will pay the county $55 per day for each offender participating in the program.
"We typically never come close to touching that amount," Wolbersen said. "We usually only have one to three inmates at most in this program."
Douglas County has entered into an agreement with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) as grant sponsor for the Douglas Area Trail Association for 2013. An executed agreement will be sent to the county once appropriate DNR signatures have been received for the $3,770 grant.
In split votes, the board approved submitting Legacy grant applications to the DNR for projects at Kensington Rune Stone Park and Lake Brophy Park. Commissioners Jerry Johnson and Norm Salto voted against the Brophy project and Paul C. Anderson voted no on the Kensington application.
Public Works Director and County Engineer Dave Robley said both are good projects and could stand on their own. Parks Superintendent Al Lieffort has plans to preserve land along Lake Brophy and create a trail connecting the Kensington Rune Stone Park to the Solem Lutheran Cemetery.
IN OTHER NEWS
Continued development is in the works for the area where the new high school is to be constructed in Alexandria. Improvements at the intersection of County Highway 46 and Pioneer Road include a new traffic signal system. Chuck Rickart and Mary Schwartz will be heading the project to be completed by WSB and Associates. The estimated cost for the engineering services is $24,750. The project will be completed with next year's construction.
A new sanitarian has been hired for the public health department. Doug Breitkreutz will fill the position vacated this spring when Todd Appel resigned.
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.