At this week’s Yellow Medicine County Board meeting the Board began by listening to a citizen comment about road conditions. The resident had a complaint about the quality of the gravel roads near his property and asked that they be improved in a timely manner. The Board discussed the issue with the citizen and talked about other roads that were also damaged due to weather and flooding. The Board agreed to take action and improve the road as soon as it was possible.

The Commissioners continued the meeting with their reports. Ron Antony discussed a Workforce Council meeting and highlighted some employment statistics. Antony said that there was a serious worker shortage and that there are six people for every job opening. One of the careers Antony specifically mentioned were powerline workers. This is a situation that could possibly be helped with the expansion of the Minnesota West Community and Technical College powerline program to the Granite Falls campus. New youth programs which highlight available jobs in the area is another attempt at helping to resolve worker shortage issues.

Following additional information about employment statistics the Commissioners continued with their reports. They discussed Western Mental Health’s new chemical dependency outpatient treatment program, Countryside Public Health, business closings in the area, and the Parks Board. The Board considered a resolution proposed by the Florida and Fortier Townships to add bull thistle and musk thistle to the County’s noxious weed list.

The Board had concerns over making the decision without input from other townships due to the list impacting every township in the County. The Board tabled the resolution and will send letters to all of the townships in the County asking if they support the resolution. A decision will be made once the Townships have responded.

The Board accepted two bids from Duininck Inc. and awarded them contracts for two separate road projects. The first contract is for mill, overlay, and shouldering on CSAH 2, CSAH 21, and CSAH 27 for $1,660,796.79. The second contract is for the reconstruction of CSAH 20 in Echo for $1,040,008.87. The Board declared a state of emergency for Yellow Medicine County due to conditions resulting from flooding, starting on 3-26-19 and lasting for the duration of 60 days.

In Other News: The Board approved a PERA phased retirement option for a Highway Department employee. The Board approved an agreement to provide professional counseling services with MAXIMUS Consulting Services Inc. Family Services Director Rae Ann Keeler-Aus provided information about out of home placements and discussed the budget for those services.