Commentary - County board offers year in reviewAerial photography of the county was approved, cost shared by the county, city of Alexandria, ALASD and Alexandria Light and Power. Board voted to ask Legislature to ban coal tar for driveways. Dave Robley was named “Engineer of the Year.”
Editor’s note: The following is a “2012 Year in Review” submitted by Douglas County commissioners Jerry Johnson, Dan Olson and Bev Bales. They said it is a partial list highlighting the county’s accomplishments.
A decontamination unit from the DNR was positioned in many of our lake accesses to clean zebra mussels from boats and trailers.
Aerial photography of the county was approved, cost shared by the county, city of Alexandria, ALASD and Alexandria Light and Power.
Board voted to ask Legislature to ban coal tar for driveways.
Dave Robley was named “Engineer of the Year.”
HAVA voting equipment for the handicapped was approved to be purchased.
Annual feedlot report and Land and Resource comprehensive plan, plus state’s revised rules for subsurface septic systems given.
Board passed a resolution supporting the “Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Douglas County” program.
County agreed to contract with DATA Trails, accepted report of the Sauk River Watershed District, in existence for 26 years, and has obtained $20 million in grants to protect our waters.
A national prescription program from the National Association of Counties was named, available for all citizens with about 55 percent savings on prescriptions.
With the redistricting and annexation in Alexandria, all five commissioners were up for re-election.
New phone updates were approved, including an update for the Social Services Department.
Park Legacy funds received for parks.
Board voted to support Congressman Collin Peterson’s bill to designate a day honoring school bus drivers.
Approved work at the Curt Felt Park and Millerville Township bridge replacement.
Discussion with state corrections department for space in the Services Center.
Because HRA funds were cut $1.2 million, the board approved raising the HRA levy for the first time in four years. There are 380 people on their waiting list.
For 2013, the state has given $23,000 for the “Toward Zero Deaths” program for Public Health.
The board reappointed County Assessor Keith Albertsen.
Preliminary levy was set at a 2.07 percent increase.
Approval was given for the “Walk Against Domestic Violence.” The public was encouraged to attend a luncheon in support of the work against the violence.
Board hired Government Management Group to ensure we get all the federal grants we are entitled to.
A meeting was held to discuss Interstate 94 and Highway 29 South.
The county joined with the state in a class action lawsuit against Fannie May and Freddie Mac.
Resolution signed changing speed limit on County Road 13 north of Osakis from 40 MPH to 30.
Accepted donation of $945 for the hospice program.
Approved contract with Lakeland Mental Health.
The auditor’s office had to do a recount of 32,000 ballots for the election.
Reappointed Dian Lopez and Dave Kjos to the hospital board.
The board appointed Brent Birkeland as information technology director.
Discussion of whether or not to retain the license bureau.
Approved repair of several county ditches and named Latham Landscape Architects to study our park and trail system.
Presentation given by the non-partisan League of Women Voters.
Bond refinancing realized savings of $779,297.14.
Report from Pope Douglas Solid Waste.
Grant approved for $125,000 each for two years from the Robert Wood Foundation for Hospice.
Refund dividend of $414,639 received from Minnesota Counties Insurance Trust.
Approval given to hire lake monitors, paid by DNR.
Park and trail grant was approved for $537,000 for Runestone Park and $50,000 for Curt Felt Park.
Board voted to retain Contegrity Construction Management as consultants for future needs.
Adopted resolution suggested by Association of Minnesota Counties regarding sex trafficking to treat underage children as victims instead of delinquents.
Five suggestions were given to the Minnesota Rural Counties Caucus to work for counties at the Legislature.
Salary increases given to elected department heads. Commissioners took no increase as they haven’t for nine years.
Great news to close the year: The board voted to lower the county levy 0.31 percent.
The board really appreciates the fine cooperation of the department heads.