County Board BriefsDouglas County commissioners discussed issues including the Sauk River Watershed District, monopole bids, Lake Oscar and the Department of Corrections at Tuesday’s meeting. A public hearing regarding bonding for capital improvements was also held.
By: Crystal Dey, Alexandria Echo Press
Douglas County commissioners discussed issues including the Sauk River Watershed District, monopole bids, Lake Oscar and the Department of Corrections at Tuesday’s meeting. A public hearing regarding bonding for capital improvements was also held.
Capital improvement bonds are being considered as a way for the county to acquire the public works building, which is currently held by the Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA). Carolyn Drude with Ehlers, the county’s bonding consultant, said the only purpose for the re-bonding is to save the county and taxpayers money.
Discussion on the Lake Oscar outlet drew a crowd of more than 20 people, including Representative Torrey Westrom. Property owners and commissioners recognize the urgency of the damage being done to their land. The hindrance is on the county’s ability to back its’ half of a 50 percent Department of Natural Resources floodwater grant. Ehlers will be consulted regarding further bonding to allow action to be taken swiftly. Westrom advised the commissioners to take the opportunity now while the money is available.
Businesses throughout the county have continued to prepare for the summer tourist season. Liquor licenses were renewed for Smith Lake Resort in Osakis, Pine Ridge Golf Course in Evansville and County Line Off Sale Liquor and Arrowwood Resort and Conference Center in Alexandria.
The Association of Minnesota Counties (AMC) has endorsed Coast2Coast for a countywide health discount program. Although the official paperwork has not yet arrived the commissioners passed a motion allowing board chair Jerry Johnson to sign off once the documents are available. Commissioners expressed concern that they would like the public to be able to save money on health care as soon as possible.
Holly Kovarik and Bob Mostad presented the Sauk River Watershed District (SRWD) annual report and previewed its 10-year plan. The SRWD was able to secure grant funding for much of its projects but Kovarik said there is still a lot of work to be done. The SRWD affects Douglas, Todd, Pope, Stearns and Meeker counties.
Six bids were received in response to the request for proposals for the monopole that will hold the radio equipment necessary to make the Allied Radio Matrix Emergency Response (ARMER) system functional. Douglas County Sheriff Troy Wolbersen said the bids ranged from $105,564 to $128,480. Commissioners accepted the lowest bid from Structural Buildings Inc. located in Becker.
Brian Rubenstein with the Department of Corrections made a request for space to house four agents in the space allocated to the sheriff’s office once the Services Center is complete. Discussions will be ongoing; Wolbersen did not see any conflicts with the request.
Look for expanded coverage of county commissioner meeting briefs n upcoming issues of the Echo Press.