Tuesday, February 28, 2012

County Board Meeting held February 28, 2012

County Board Chair Jan Hall, along with Commissioners Hakes, Martinson and Sobanja were all in attendance at today's County Board meeting.  Commissioner Jim Johnson was absent due to illness.  Also present were Auditor Braidy Powers and Personnel Director Janet Simonen.

Public Comment
Molly Hoffman expressed desire for more public input in the Community Center project.

Law Enforcement
The Board authorized the purchase of an emergency restraint chair for $1595 as requested by Sheriff Falk.  This purchase was budgeted for $2000.

Highway Department
The Board authorized the purchase of (1) pole pruner at a cost of $659 to replace the old pruner that failed.  The Board also authorized the purchase of a used 2004 Mitsubishi forklift for $14,700 to replace the 1970 Hyster forklift.  $36,000 was budgeted for the purchase of a (new) forklift; instead a good used forklift was bought.

Board Chair Jan Hall expressed concern to David Betts and Russ Klegstad about the brushing and clearing currently in progress on the Chicago Bay Road.  Hall has received several calls of complaint.

Lutsen 99er Mountain Bike Race
The County Board approved a special event permit as requested from Adam Harju of Lifetime Fitness for the Lutsen 99er Mountain Bike race to be held on June 23, 2012. This is the 2nd year for this growing event.  Letters of support were received from Lutsen Township and the Town of Tofte.

Office of Plannng & Zoning (OPZ)
The County Board approved (2) Solid Waste Hauler license renewals.

Household Hazardous Waste Collection Schedule
Residential Household Hazardous Waste
            Saturday, June 2 from 9 AM to 1 PM
            Saturday, September 15 from 9 AM to 1 PM
Commercial (Clean Shop) Household Hazardous Waste
             Friday, September 14 from 9 am to 1 PM

Lakeshore Septic Compliance Program
OPZ Director Tim Nelson informed the Board that 2012 would be a year for follow-up of completed septic inspections and planning for the next 10 years for the Lakeshore Septic Compliance Program.  Cook County did not receive grant funding for 2012, so part of this year's focus will be seeking funds in support of the next ten years.  Cook County surpassed its goals for first ten-years of the Lakeshore Septic Compliance Program.

New State Legislative Districts
Braidy Powers distributed information regarding State Redistricting.  For more information about State Legislative Redistricting, go to http://cookcountydistrict3.blogspot.com/2012/02/redistricting-outcome.html.  The redistricting deadline for the County is May 1, 2012.  Powers said information will be provided to the public as the County moves through this process.

Minnesota Intelligent Rural Communities (MIRC) Grant
The Board voted to accept the Blandin Foundation MIRC Grant in the amount of $23,245 for the facilitation of broadband deployment in rural areas.

County Fees
The Board scheduled a PUBLIC HEARING on County fees for the Office of Planning & Zoning.  This hearing is scheduled for March 13, 2012 at 10 AM in the Commissioner's Room.

County Fair
Due to a lack of support for a County Fair, the Cook County Fair is cancelled for 2012.

Proposed Voter ID Election Legislation
Braidy Powers alerted the County Board to some of the changes and associated costs that will have to occur if the Voter ID Election Legislation (SF1577) passes as a Constitutional Amendment this Fall.

Community Center Project
The County Board approved a letter of support to the Duluth Area Family YMCA to further explore partnering on the Cook County Community Center.  The YMCA will first conduct an internal feasibility study.  If the results of that study prove promising, the YMCA will contract with SEER Analytical to conduct an additional, independent analysis of the project.  The County Board will consider funding part or all of the $5000 for this service.

MN Sheriff's Association Courts & Building Security Training
Commissioner Hakes reported on the 2-day MN Sheriff's Association Courts & Building Security Training she attended in Beltrami County with Sheriff Falk, County Probation Office Steve Borud and Assistant County Attorney Molly Hicken.  Hakes said one of the key points stressed at the training was to learn how to recognize Highly Charged Emotional Events and to get a plan in place to deal appropriately with them.  This training will be shared at the next meeting of the Courthouse Security Team.

Wetland Replacement Requirements Legislation
The County Board voted to support a resolution as recommended by the Arrowhead Counties Association to modify the wetland replacement requirements for counties with 80% or more of their pre-settlement wetlands remaining (HF2105).

School Trust Lands
Efforts are underway at the State Legislature (HF2244 and SF1889) to take away control of the school trust lands from the DNR to a trust manager from another state agency.  County Land Commissioner Mary Black warned the County Board that if this happens, PILT (payment in lieu of tax) payments may not transfer to the new agency.  Black and Braidy Powers will work to understand the negative impacts of this potential change while the Commissioners will lobby to prevent it.

Labor Negotiations
The meeting was closed for the County Board to discuss on-going labor negotiations.