At this week’s Yellow Medicine County Board meeting, the Board discussed the alarming issue of poison hemlock, a plant that can make people sick just by coming into contact with it. Additionally, the plant is poisonous to cattle and other animals. No action is being taken yet but the board was notified of the issue and the plant is predicted to spread from Chippewa to Yellow Medicine County, the good news is that it’s very controllable with spray.

They also discussed the ACMC merger with CentraCare and Rice Memorial Hospital to create a new nonprofit organization, but financial details and the structure of the system are still being negotiated.

There was a brief update on the daycare situation in the county, including the city of Granite Falls’ plans to provide adequate childcare and the possible opening of a new center as well as the center continuing out at Minnesota West with a new company. There was also an update on the Clarkfield day care center that is opening. The center will have a nine person staff and will care for 48 kids.

Then there was a discussion of the Granite Falls City Council’s decision to move forward with the FERC study on the river, and what some possible ideas might be for a future whitewater park. The board was also updated on a data breach that was caused by faxing the wrong number resulting in a private citizen getting the information, the person has since been tracked down and they are now trying to contact him.

There was also a public hearing in regards to bufferstrips, one citizen showed up to voice his displeasure with having to accommodate the law. The citizen discussed his issue with the board, who agreed with him, and tried to explain how they could help, but they also informed him that they can’t change the law and that he needs to be in compliance with the law within a year’s time.

The board had received complaints on Oraas park about the grass not being mowed, trees not being trimmed and the bathroom not getting cleaned. After some investigation it was discovered that because the part time employee had to help engineering he was pulled off of park’s work. This incident led to a slightly heated discussion amongst the board. The seasonal employee who was pulled off of park’s work was apparently filling in for a worker who was sick and that, combined with the recent decision not to fill an empty position in engineering, led to a 2 man shortage and that in turn led to him being pulled off of park’s work. The board recognized that if they had filled the vacant position this situation would have been avoided. Since then the issue has been resolved and the park has been properly maintained.

In other news:

There was a pile of gravel that was considered a highway department asset that sits in an open pit, and it was determined by a state auditor to protect the asset the county needed to put a fence around it or have a camera watch it.

Swift County pulled out of drug court and got rid of it in a unanimous vote.