Nick Anhult, who serves as a financial advisor for Yellow Medicine County, was on hand during the Tuesday, April 24 Board meeting to review Moody’s credit rating for the County. According to Moody’s Yellow Medicine received a ‘Aa3’ rating, a strong showing according to Anhult.
There is a current debt of roughly $7 million in bonds, with interest rates ranging from 2 to 4%. The longest loan extends out to 2036.
Anhult explained that Moody’s also compares neighboring counties when determining their credit ratings, and adjusts relevant metrics for rural counties with smaller populations. Their findings were based on numbers released from 2016, the last full year of financial information publicly available.
According to the report, Yellow Medicine stayed relatively consistent compared to past years, and even showed improvement in some areas. Anhult said that counties and municipal governments tend to receive string credit ratings because of their low rate of debt default.
In other news:
The Board unanimously approved a request from Property and Public Services Director Janel Timm to create an acquisition agreement for tabulator election equipment. The agreement is with Election Systems & Software out of Omaha, Nebraska. The cost of the new equipment after trade-in allowances is $34,290. The agreement also includes an annual maintenance and software fee amounting to $1,365.
The Board also unanimously approved a motion reaffirming the Mid-State Computer Collaborative (MSCC) Joint Powers Agreement, a 29 county cooperative created in the 1980s to collectively negotiate software contracts for county governments in southwest Minnesota.
The MSCC currently holds a contract with Computer Professionals Unlimited, Inc based out of Morris, which was also approved by the Board for a five year period. Each county contributes a portion of the total bill. Yellow Medicine’s monthly contribution is about $7,000. According to County Administrator Peg Heglund, there are rumors that the company owner may decide to sell the company, prompting some concern from the Board. Eventually, commissioners agreed the importance of renewing the contract outweighed potential future risk.
Planning and Zoning Coordinator for Yellow Medicine Jolene Johnson informed the Board of a request from Verizon Wireless to construct a 250 foot communications tower at the Rural Preservation Manage-ment District in Sandnes Township. The installation will be located 125 feet County Road 18 and will be surrounded by a fence.
The Board of Commissioners accepted the resignation of Assistant County Attorney Joel Brakken.
Family Services Director Rae-Ann Aus informed the Board that her department had recently taken on Kelsey Phinney as its newest social work intern. The South Dakota State University student will work with the county from May 7 through August for a total of 240 hours.
The Board unanimously approved a motion recognizing May as Mental Health Awareness Month. The Board unanimously voted to adopt the Merit System Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action Guidelines.