Commissioners dismiss legal advice
Despite a solicited opinion from their attorney disapproving the action, Douglas County Commissioners approved a contract with Computer Professionals Unlimited, binding the county to the company's services until 2018.
"My concern certainly isn't vendor specific," said Chad Larson, Douglas County attorney. "If I'm being asked for my opinion on signing a contract that binds the county until 2018, I'm not going to recommend that without a termination clause. It just doesn't make sense."
The contract with Computer Professionals Unlimited was discussed at the June 26 commissioners' meeting but action was not taken until the July 10 meeting, pending research for an out-clause.
County auditor/treasurer Char Rosenow said 11 other counties in Minnesota have already agreed to the three-year extension. The current agreement with Douglas County was due to expire on December 31, 2015.
The request for an out-clause was made by Commissioner Dan Olson after other board members expressed interest in such an option. Olson said he has no problem with the contract, which has a built-in 4 percent increase for monthly maintenance fees.
Rosenow said other entities similar to Computer Professionals are requiring eight-year contracts. Chad Swanson, president of Computer Professionals, said the previous contract did not have an out-clause.
Interim IT director Laura Ziemer discovered that the original contract in 1983 contained a 60-day out-clause; a new contract had been signed since that time.
Commissioners approved extending the contract until 2018; Jerry Johnson voted against the resolution.
County Assessor Keith Albertsen supported the board's decision. "If anyone could benefit from not having out-clauses, that would be us because the competition certainly doesn't service counties as well as Mr. Swanson."
WORK ON COURTHOUSE
Commissioners approved a $69,980 contract for roof replacement with Buttweilers Do-All for work above the courts area.
The link connecting the courts to the courthouse and the mechanical penthouse over the courts area are included in the contract. Approximately 10,000 square feet will be reroofed.
Thelen Heating and Roofing bid $121,900; Buttweilers Do-All was $51,920 less.
A curve super-elevation correction will be performed on County State Aid Highway (CSAH) 3 north of Osakis; a quarter-mile will be paved north of CSAH 10.
A contract for the paving project was awarded to Riley Brothers Construction of Morris for $29,789. Local company Central Specialties came in just $32 over Riley Brothers bid. Another Alexandria company, Mark Lee Asphalt and Paving, bid $30,320.
County roads 87 and 157 in Forada will be closed on August 4 for the city's annual parade and street dance.
Ruby Prochnow has been appointed to fill a three-year term vacated by Cindy Kolstad on the Douglas County Library Board. Library clerk DeEtte Field will be parting with the library after 14 years of service.
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.