Sunday, April 15, 2012

County Board Meeting for April 10, 2012

County Board Chair Jan Hall and Commissioners Hakes, Johnson, Martinson and Sobanja were all present for the County Board Meeting on April 10, 2012.  Also present were Braidy Powers and Janet Simonen.

Public Comment
Garry Gamble, representing the Citizens for Cook County Committee, presented the County Board with a letter encouraging wise stewardship of One Percent funds.  In addition, the group requested that the County Board ask for public input whenever authorizing spending beyond the 2012 budget.

Highway Department
The County Board approved several requests made by County Engineer David Betts:
1) The Board approved a $595 capital purchase request for a Distance Measuring Instrument.
2) The Board accepted the final roadway easements for the CSAH 8 Phase I reconstruction project.
3)  So that completion of CSAH 8 is not delayed any further, the Board issued a Temporary Permit to construct CSAH 8 while relief of the reversionary clause for the airport parcel is being sought.  Congressman Chip Cravaack has sponsored House Bill HR 2947 which is expected to pass a floor vote in the next few weeks.  Senators Klobuchar and Franken are sponsoring Senate Bill 1987 currently in the Senate Agriculture Committee.
4)  The Board approved an exchange with Norman County of $1M Federal Aid funds in return for $1M State Aid funds.  Norman County needs Federal funds to complete one of their projects.  The exchange is also beneficial to Cook County in that it allows us to delay the CSAH 12 project to 2014 as well as relieve us of time consuming and costly Federal contract requirements.
5)  The Board authorized advertising for proposals for Calcium Chloride and Aggregate Stockpile.

Information Systems
The Board authorized $28,460 to replace the primary mid-rage computer system that runs all of the tax, assessment, accounting and payroll systems for the County. Replacement of this system is normally every 3-5 years; this system is nearly 6 years old.  Replacement of this system is planned within the IT capital reserve fund.

The County Board has authorized ~$174,000 for Aerial Imagery (pictometry) of Cook County.  This imagery will be paid mostly with funds from the Highway Department, Assessor's Office, Planning & Zoning, Law Enforcement, Title III funding.  The benefits to the County and taxpaying public are numerous and supported by private surveyors Sam Parker and Wayne Hensche.

Planning & Zoning
The Board approved paying for "Land Use" Legal Workshop for the Planning Commission/Board of Adjustment.  The training will be held locally to save the expense of multiple travelers.

The Board approved the initiation of the public hearing process for adoption of an amendment into the Cook County Subdivision Ordinance.  The proposed language for this amendment is as follows:

Section 4.4 Administrative Subdivision Procedure
E.  After approval of the application, the applicant must file the necessary deed(s) and documents with the Cook County Recorder within 90 days to complete the subdivision process.  New administrative subdivision approved lots do not become legal lots of record until the deeds creating said lots are filed with the County Recorder.  If the deed(s) are not recorded for the new lot(s) prior to an ordinance revision that makes any of the lot(s) approved through this process nonconforming, your application approval will be null and void, and a new application will have to be processed in accordance with any new ordinance requirements.

Tim Nelson provided the 2012 Waste Electronics Collection Dates as follows:

Grand Marais-Cook County Recycling Center

Saturday, May 19                             9:00 am to 1:00 pm
Saturday, August 25                        9:00 am to 1:00 pm

Tofte-Tofte Transfer Station

Saturday, June 9                              9:00 am to 1:00 pm
Saturday, October 6                         9:00 am to 1:00 pm

A Public Hearing was held on the proposed Redistricting Plan for Cook County.  No member of the Pubic opted to address the County Board.  Changes are proposed for Districts 1, 2, 3 & 4.  No change is proposed to District 5.  Redistricting changes proposed do not trigger elections that are not already scheduled for Fall 2012 which include District 4 (Jim Johnson) and District 2 (Fritz Sobanja).

Superior National Golf Course
The Board voted to authorize ~$47,000 in reimbursement to Superior National Golf Course for pre-design and site evaluation of the Superior National Golf Course. The EDA and SNGC Management is working to design and fund a 3-year project to totally renovate 18 holes (River and Canyon Nines) and upgrade the clubhouse facilities for a total cost of $5.9 Million.  The total funding package for this project has not been identified or committed.

A Public Hearing was held to provide information and receive public input and comments on Cook County's submission of a MN Small Cities Application to the MN Department of Employment and Economic Development. This application will request funds for owner occupied housing rehabilitation and commercial rehabilitation.  No member of the Public opted to address the County Board.

EDA Housing Administrator, Nancy Grabko
The County Board approved a request to loan $16,500 to assist with rehabilitation of the Senior Center Building.  Originally, this request came before the Revolving Loan Fund, but it did not fit the statutory requirements of an RLF loan.

The County Board approved up to $64,000 in Cook County Revolving Loan Funds in support of the (4) projects proposed in the 2012 Small City Development application for Grand Marais downtown business district Commercial Rehabilitation Projects.

Arrowhead Library System Merger
At the request of Jim Weikum, Executive Director of the Arrowhead Library System, the County Board passed a resolution approving a contract agreement for the merger of the North Country Library Cooperative with the Arrowhead Library System.  Formal approval of the merger will rest with the Commissioner of the MN Department of Education.  Linda Chappell, Director of the  Grand Marais Library, supports this change.

Schroeder Township Fire Truck
The Board approved an $80,000 interest free loan to Schroeder Township for the purchase of a fire truck.

Auditor-Treasurer Requests
A.  The Board approved a contract for Voyageur Canoe Outfitters to operate the Sag Lake parking lots for the 2012 season.  No change in compensation was made from last year.
B.  The Board approved the Public Notice to begin the 45 day comment period for the use of ~$27,000 of 2011 Title III funds for the County's pictometry project.
C.  The Board approved a reimbursement to the Cook County North Shore Hospital of $174,276.43 from the 1994 Local 1% Sales Tax fund for the purchase of a digital mammography system.
D.  The Board approved recommended revisions to the Revolving Loan Fund Guidelines; the changes were essentially housekeeping revisions to updte the guidelines to current approved practices.

Meeting Minutes
Copies of the County Board meeting minutes from April 10, 2012 will be available on the Cook County website or by calling Janet Simonen at 218/387-3602 after they have been typed and approved.