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County holds off decision on LEC

With one commissioner absent from the meeting, no decisions about the proposed joint law enforcement center (LEC) were made at Tuesday's regular Douglas County Board meeting.

Commissioner Jerry Johnson said that because Commissioner Paul Anderson - a member of the County-City LEC committee - was gone from the meeting, "We won't be taking a vote today."

However, a short discussion about the proposed center took place, which included comments from Bruce Campbell of Alexandria, a concerned citizen who feels the county should "hold the line on spending." He said the county should quit spending taxpayer dollars and that the current law enforcement center could be remodeled to suit the needs of the county and city of Alexandria.

Tom Reddick, Douglas County auditor/treasurer, said the information was presented too soon about the joint project and that he is not comfortable with the figures. He said there is still a lot of work to be done on this project and that the county and city should hold a joint meeting so that they can work together to get it figured out.

After a brief discussion about the joint LEC, Commissioner Dan Olson suggested the meeting move forward because no decisions were going to be made anyway.

In other board action

•Douglas County Recorder Dawn Crouse presented the board with her annual compliance report. State statutes require the recorder's office to give a certificate of compliance with recording requirements of real estate documents.

For counties that are not in compliance, the state places a restriction on using funds from real estate documents.

The cost of recording of real estate document is $46.

Last year, the county recorder's office was 100 percent compliant with 11,056 total documents being recorded.

Commission Olson thanked Crouse for running a smooth ship. Commissioner Bev Bales told Crouse, "Thanks for keeping us out of trouble."

The board approved the compliance report.

•Douglas County Social Services Director Mike Woods made a request to sign an agreement with the state for a fraud prevention investigation program.

Under the program, a fraud prevention investigator would be housed in Douglas County, but would also serve seven other counties, including Wilkin, Traverse, Grant, Stevens, Pope, Swift and Otter Tail.

The cost for the investigator would be fully funded from state funds, Woods explained to the commissioners.

"The state picked us because we are centrally located," said Woods.

The county approved the request.

•Sandy Tubbs, Douglas County Public Health director, asked commissioners to approve an administrative service agreement with Stevens, Traverse and Grant counties for shared director services. This would mean that Tubbs would be shared between the four counties - Douglas, Stevens, Traverse and Grant.

Along with this agreement would be another agreement to hire a shared assistant director.

Tubbs also requested that the commissioners set salaries for the two positions. After a brief discussion, it was decided that the director position, which is held by Tubbs, would get a 5 percent increase to $49.21 per hour and the assistant director, which is not filled yet, would also get a 5 percent increase to $36.65 per hour.

The commissioners approved the service agreement for the shared services and approved the salaries for the director and assistant director positions.

In addition, the commissioners authorized Tubbs to fill a program coordinator position; approved a home and community-based services contract; approved the 2009-2010 school health agreement with area school districts; approved the public health financial report; and approved the payment of bills for public health.

•Douglas County Public Works Director Dave Robley asked the commissioners to award a contract for work to be done on County Roads 9 and 13 near Carlos, along with some water main work, to Nodland Construction Company in the amount of $1.17 million, which was 20 percent under the estimate. The board awarded the contract.

In addition, Robley asked for approval of two road requests - one in Rose City for an upcoming street dance and one in Forada for this weekend's Forada Days. Both road closures were approved.

Robley also asked for approval to designate two different roads as through highways with the installation of stop signs.

The county's approval designated County Road 12 between County Roads 22 and 5 as a through highway and County Road 61 between County Roads 22 and 34 as a through highway.