Yellow Medicine Commissioners give updates on a busy two weeks

Jess Gorman
Staff Writer
The Yellow Medicine County Justice Center.

The Yellow Medicine County Commissioners met this past Tuesday to discuss regular business in a near record setting short meeting.. Commissioners gave reports starting with Greg Reneke who discussed his recent attendance at the Personnel Committee meeting managing ongoing staffing conversion for the county. Reneke also noted his observations on the “park road” which he felt was well maintained after taking in a recent complaint on the roadway, “Everything looks perfect out there” and witnessed blading being done during his observation period, noting also the park was packed.

Next up in reports was Gary Johnson, who attended a department head meeting, found the meeting very informative, one update even informed Johnson on a staff member who had tested positive for Covid-19. He went on to discuss the Parks committee meeting, explaining quote processes on a possible truck purchase, broken tree limb management, and signage implementation at a local campground. In Johnson’s report he updated on the Clarkfield council meeting he recently attended, where he worked with the city on bulk food distribution as part of an ongoing area effort amongst food shelves to improve access needs met for communities, Johnson noted volunteers will be needed to make the hoped process possible in Clarkfield on September 24th.

Commissioner Ron Antony reported from his recent railroad authority meeting, the authority had been down in car loads affecting the budget which just recently took a “dramatic turnaround” in Antony’s words, going on to say “We had the largest car count in the history of the railroad authority last month”.

Commissioner Glen Kack attended an extension meeting on the 18th where it was updated that the two summer interns were done for season. Kack referenced many calls received in the first 3 days of the CARES money open disbursement period, demonstrating people are looking for and using the new resource. He also attended a Southwest 18 meeting, noting they have dropped below for their desired 40% reserve funds and attributed the fall to 2019 having higher crisis service needs.

Commissioner Berrends report included updates on the Yellowstone Trail Alliance meeting which said nearly all pursued communities had acquired or were in the process of acquiring historic roadway signage, as well as the Alliance had developed a trail map brochure encompassing all the area communities and visitable assets along the roadway that would begin being disbursed shortly.

He also expressed that a website is now up for the YTAWMN group that will include information from the brochure, maps and resources as well as information on the upcoming Socialbility Run the group is organizing with classic cars and numerous stops along the Yellowstone Trail on September 12 and 13. Berends also updated on the county historical society museum, stating the War World I exhibit is still going strong and bringing in numerous visitors. The organization also hired a new director and intern to manage the site. The next County Commissioners meeting will fall on Tuesday, September 8 and a discussion will move forward at that time on the possible return to in person meetings.