At this weeks Yellow Medicine County Board meeting the Commissioners started by giving their regular reports. Commissioner Glen Kack discussed a tour of the Appleton prison and a prison meeting he and Commissioner John Berends attended. CoreCivic currently owns the prison and has continued to maintain and add to the facility. The board discussed the future of the prison and hope to eventually reopen the facility in the near future. There is a possibility that CoreCivic could sell the facility to the State of Minnesota and the state could take over the facility but for now the prison’s future remains uncertain.
Berends discussed cities in the county that have begun updating their tobacco policy and briefly discussed Tobacco 21. Most of the changes cities are making are relatively minor and would bring them into compliance with new state laws. Other items discussed in the commissioners reports included the state budget, a parks tour, MNDot, corrections, and FEMA relief aid for flood damage. One of the main areas of concern is the condition of ditches after flooding and drainage issues, the county is working to find a total cost estimate on damages and give those numbers to FEMA. After the board finished with commissioner reports County Administrator Angie Steinbach gave a brief admin report and discussed meetings and events she attended since the last county board meeting.
Sam Lauer from Contegrity Group presented bids to the board for the demolition of the old Clarkfield high school building. Bid amounts for the project could change once the City of Clarkfield decides to either demolish the entire site or keep a section of the building. The board said they will wait to hear back from Clarkfield and see if the city would like to keep the section of the building with the gym before making a decision. A final decision will need to be made within the next 40 days.
The board approved a renewal agreement for medical examiner services from Anoka County. Yellow Medicine County will pay Anoka County, as compensation and related consultation and testimony, according to the current Anoka County fee schedule. Additionally Yellow Medicine County will pay Anoka County a monthly administrative fee of $125.00.
County Finance Manager, Lacey Rigge, spoke to the board about consolidating funds for Auditors and Commissioners warrants. Citizens Alliance Bank recently went through a software change and in doing so they analyzed everyone's account. One of the changes affected the treasurers checking account that is used for payroll and warrants, with the change the account will no longer have interest on it. The bank will monitor the average amount of net available funds in the account and give the county earnings credits which helps to offset fees. To help minimize fees Rigge proposed that they combine the general fund and highway fund warrants, Rigge also pointed out that multiple neighboring counties have combined these accounts as well. The board agreed with Rigge’s proposal and voted to consolidate funds.
The board approved the renewal of a Redwood-Cottonwood Rivers Control Area (RCRA) joint powers agreement. The purpose of the agreement is the joint exercise of powers to develop and implement plans with regard to the protection of property from damage of flooding, controlling erosion of land, protection of streams and lakes from sedimentation and pollution, improving the quality of water, and improving wildlife conditions.
The board discussed a joint powers agreement for solid waste program services with Roger Schroeder from Lyon County. Schroeder apologized to the board for not spreading enough awareness for community cleanup day. Several residents were confused or unaware of the timeline and there was poor communication. The board and Schroeder discussed plans for a second county clean up day that will likely occur sometime early next month, although a specific date has yet to be determined. Schroeder said he will do a better job of communicating with residents in the future.
In Other News:
•Correction: In the last Yellow Medicine County Board article the writer incorrectly named Commissioner Gary Johnson as Gary Anderson.
•The board voted to form an ad hoc committee to review fleet management companies and fuel tank monitoring systems. Commissioners John Berrends and Greg Renneke will be on the committee.
•County Assessor, Connie Erickson, gave a summary of the 2019 county assessment. The board approved adding outdoor surveillance cameras to the veterans memorial by the courthouse.