A public meeting was held during last Tuesday’s Chippewa County Board of Commissioners meeting about the county-wide special election that is now under way. The county is seeking to change the way the county auditor/treasurer and county recorder are chosen.

Currently, those positions are elected, and the county wishes to make them appointed positions. The county feels that by making this change, the county will be able to hire the most highly qualified candidate.

There were no concerned citizens present to address the board during the public meeting, so the public meeting was closed and the board continued with its regular business.

The board continued to discuss the special election. It was reported that between 7,500 and 8,000 ballots were mailed to county residents, and 2,000 to 2,500 are expected to be returned.

In business on the consent agenda, the date for the next regular meeting was set for Feb. 6, 2018. Participation in the 2018 Progress Edition (Montevideo and Granite Falls) was approved, as well as Western Prairie Waters membership. In addition, Brook Blue was added to the county’s authorized credit user list.

In other business, the Montevideo American-News was the only bidder for county 2018 publishing, and as such, was awarded the bid.

Amy Rodeberg discussed a proposal from ARCASearch to digitally archive various county records. Speaking of the need to create a digital archive, Rodeberg said: “If there was ever a fire, all those records would be gone.”

ARCASearch is a digital archiving and processing business. They will digitally photograph and archive approximately 19,975 images of documents currently kept at the courthouse with a date range from 1865 through 2017. The materials would be done on site in the Court House.

Rodeberg explained how the process works and told the board that the ARCASearch system is very convenient and easy to work with.

A motion was made to accept the proposal from ARCASearch to digitally archive the county’s records. The motion passed.

Reed Molden was on hand to speak to the board about the purchase of a new skid steer. The board opted to seek more quotes from other dealers.

Chippewa County Sheriff Stacy Tufto reported to the board that he was approached by an individual who wished to donate a .357 handgun to the sheriff’s department. He also reported on other activities of his department.

The board also discussed and approved an updated Joint Powers Agreement for the Chippewa County Monte­video Hospital.

The county board, as well as the city council, will each appoint one county and city resident to the commission. A seventh at-large member will also be appointed. The county also discussed and recommended changes to the bylaws regarding hospital purchases and direct liability in any potential litigation involving the hospital.