At this week’s Yellow Medicine County Board meeting on Tuesday, April 9, the Board started by approving the consent agenda, which included a liquor license for the Canby Golf Course, hiring Nick Peterson for seasonal parks maintenance, hiring Carrie Ryer as a full-time administrative secretary in Family Services, and approving the request to advertise for seasonal highway positions.
Next the County Commissioners gave their reports. Commissioner Ron Antony briefly discussed One Watershed One Plan, which is a program designed to foster collaboration between upstream and downstream neighbors to work where it’s most important in the watershed, It’s not limited to county or other jurisdictional boundaries. Plans identify and prioritize resources and issues and set measurable goals. A targeted implementation schedule describes any planned actions. Plans also describe programs and the future partnership that will implement the plan.
Plans for the program are comprehensive. They will address water quality and quantity, groundwater, drinking water, habitat, recreation, and other issues. Collaboration between local partners and state agencies creates opportunities for dialogue about water management goals and activities, and encourages the use of state data and strategies in local planning. “There are a lot of programs in the pipeline, so this will be a busy summer.” Antony said.
Commissioner Gary Johnson discussed Prairie Five’s Senior Nutrition Program. “The biggest thing going on with Prairie Five right now is ‘Meals on the Go’ which delivers to people in remote areas.”
“The truck comes through Montevideo to Granite Falls, Granite Falls to Hanley Falls, and from Hanley Falls to Clarkfield. They deliver every day five days a week. It’s going very well and the program is possibly looking to expand.”
Commissioner John Berends discussed flooding. “I got some calls from business owners and citizens about the river gauge possibly reading too low. I did my own investigation on places I’m very familiar with, and I tend to agree that it is reading low, it’s probably about a foot and a half off.”
“Businesses along Main Street didn’t get things moved from their lower levels because they thought they had more time and stuff was floating down the river. People with houses had basement issues that didn’t have any issues in 2010 or 2011.”
“I have been in conversation with the Granite Falls Mayor Dave Smiglewski and he has received similar comments about the gauge. So once the flooding is done we are going to have to talk to the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and see if we can get the gauge re-calibrated.”
District Supervisor, Brad Odegard, gave a Sentencing to Service (STS) presentation to the Board. The Board voted to approve continued participation in the STS program over the next biennium and providing YMC’s share of the financial contribution amount to 6W Community Corrections.
The Board approved updating the Yellow Medicine County purchasing policy. The policy would follow a new state statute that allows purchasing up to $175,000, increasing it from $100,000.
Emergency Manager, Casey Namken, gave a flood mitigation update and discussed a proposal by the Upper Minnesota Valley Regional Development Commis-sion (UMVRDC). The Board unanimously approved the proposal from the UMVRDC for an emergency management plan. Namken also have a general flooding update throughout Yellow Medicine County.
Namken is still unsure of the total costs from flood damage and said it’s too early to tell. Namken and the Board also discussed the possibility of the water gauge not being correct and will look into the issue more.
County Attorney Keith Helgeson discussed the possibility of the County joining an opioid litigation. The Board eventually tabled the decision to get involved in the opioid litigation, and wanted to gather more information.
In Other News:
•Maintenance Super-visor, Larry Stoks, discussed the Yellow Medicine County weed spray program.
•The Board approved a request to write off old highway accounts receivable.
•Planning and Zoning Administrator/ Ditch Inspector, Chris Balfany, and Finance Manager, Lacey Rigge, discussed funding for ditches.
•The Board approved a Family Homeless Prevention and Assistance Program Resolution.
•The Board approved a summer intern for the County Attorney’s office.
•The Board appointed Commissioner Ron Antony to the HRA Board.