At this week’s Yellow Medicine County Board meeting The Board started by going over commissioner reports and discussing the new Yellow Medicine County Broadband Task force. Commissioners John Berends and Ron Antony discussed the task force meeting on November 30th in Clarkfield. Berends mentioned that there were no legislators at the meeting, it was mainly local city and county officials. Around 20 people attended the meeting, and discussed providing broadband access to farmers and included various other topics including the farm bill. The next task force meeting is on January 4th at 9:00 A.M. at Medea’s Cafe in Clarkfield.

Commissioner Gary Johnson met with the department of corrections and discussed drug courts, opioid plans, the Appleton prison, and funding for corrections. Administrator Peg Heglund discussed the new Yellow Medicine County bus garage, the board discussed potential options for building and designing the garage. Heglund also discussed a change in recycling providers for Echo, the highway committee, a labor management meeting later this year, and scheduled finance committee meeting on Wednesday, December 19th at 8:15 A.M.

The Board also went over the draft of the 2019 budget. The board reviewed various capital expenditure requests for 2019, some of the more expensive items include $50,000 for much needed A.V. system improvements, $50,000 for Jail Camera Upgrades, $200,000 for two tandem trucks, and 40,000 for a new sheriffs car plus equipment. One major change to the budget is the removal of the coyote bounty, the board voted to get rid of the bounty mainly due to the fact most of the bounty collectors aren’t from the area. Changes will continue to be made to the budget, and the board will review various scenarios before a final budget is formed.

In other news:

•The Board held a public hearing and adopted a fee schedule for county services

•The Board approved replacing a retiring deputy with a Deputy (Investigator)/Emergency Manager

•The Board approved the hiring of a full time deputy to provide court security services

•The Board approved a COLA of 2.75% for non-union employees and additional VEBA-HAS contributions of $200

•The Board approved a COLA 2.75% for elected officials and additional VEBA-HAS contributions of $200

•The Board authorized a gambling permit to the Hanley Falls Fire Relief The Board approved resolution #26 regarding non-county Assessor services