Friday, November 11, 2011

County Board Meeting for November 8, 2011

I'm thrilled to report that Board Chair Jim Johnson was in attendance to chair our meeting.  Jim has been absent due to some health issues; it was wonderful to welcome Jim back.  Commissioners Hakes, Hall, Martinson and Sobanja, as well as Braidy Powers, Tim Scannell and Janet Simonen were also in attendance.

Public Comment
Hal Greenwood presented the County Board with a proposal for renovation of the existing City of Grand Marais swimming pool.  The County does not own this pool and recommended Mr. Greenwood present this information to the City Council.

Cook County Highway Department
County Highway Engineer David Betts presented a draft "Subordinate Governmental Service District' described as a Private Roadway Maintenance Policy for Cook County.  The purpose of the SGSD is to provide a mechanism for residents and owners of private roadways to maintain their roads and spread the costs equitably.  The County Board authorized Betts to publish the policy and to send written copies to those neighborhoods that could potentially benefit from the policy.  Betts will also arrange meetings for public comment at the appropriate time.  Click here for a copy of the draft proposal (with my scribbles).

Other Highway Department business included 1) authorization of the final payment to Edwin E. Thoresen, Inc. for the Class I Aggregate Stockpile, 2) awarding Bud's Towing & Plowing the Voyageur's Point snowplowing contract, and 3) approving the contract to renew the agreement between the MN DOT and the County for Federal Participation in Construction.

Building Maintenance
The County Board authorized replacing the furnace in the Community Center at a cost of $2816 as presented by Maintenance Director Brian Silence.

The Board authorized the execution of certain documents to allow the refinancing of the courthouse/law enforcement debt.  Documents will be prepared by the Fryberger Law Firm and reviewed by the County Attorney prior to approval at bond closing.

Outdoor Ice and Warming House
Tim Meyer, Meyer Group Architects, presented the Board with his proposal for additional services related to a warming house for the Outdoor Ice.  Meyer Group is proposing a not-to-exceed fee of $5,000 plus a reimburseable expense of $750 for conceptual design services for a warming house.  Meyer Group will consider incorporating the warming house into the existing community center, as well as a stand alone structure.  Also being considered is the incorporation of a concession stand.

Border Security Bill
The County Board discussed the proposed legislation allowing the Secretary of Homeland Security jurisdiction over all Federal Land within 100 miles of the US Border.  The County Board has concerns about the potential for negative impact to the environment.  A letter expressing this concern to Senators Klobuchar and Franken and Representative Cravaack from the Cook County Board will be drafted by Commissioner Hakes for review at the next County Board meeting. There was general agreement among the Commissioners that while maintaining national security is critical the proposed bill was "overkill".

PUBLIC HEARING on Cook County Social Host Ordinance 
A Public Hearing was held on the proposed Cook County Social Host Ordinance. The City of Grand Marais is also working to adopt this Ordinance.