Wednesday, May 23, 2012

County Board Meeting for May 22, 2012

Board Chair Jan Hall, along with Commissioners Hakes, Johnson, Martinson and Sobanja were all present for the May 22 Board Meeting.  Also present were Janet Simonen and Braidy Powers.

Public Comment
No member of the public opted to address the County Board.

Office of Planning and Zoning (OPZ)
OPZ Director Tim Nelson presented the unanimous recommendation of the Planning Commission to adopt the Subdivision Ordinance Amendment as requested with the modification to change the 90-day time frame for recordation to six months.  The Planning Commission also recommended establishing a small committee to review the Subdivision Ordinance and make recommendations to the Board of Commissioners regarding improvements for the process. The County Board approved both recommendations.

The County Board passed a motion to re-adopt the Junk Vehicle Ordinance Number 35 with one modification as recommended by the Planning Commission to include recreation vehicles.

Nelson reminded the Board that the Solid Waste Management Plan update is overdue, but that a Regional Plan for the area with addendum specific to each County is being developed.

Office of Planning and Zoning (OPZ) Permits
The County Board approved a Conditional Use Permit to establish a home business in a Single Family Residential (R-1) zone district in Colvill.  The home business to be operated is advertised as WindCradle, a meditative and spiritual retreat center.

On May 21, a special meeting of the Planning Commission was held to consider an Interim Use Permit (IUP) request from Ulland Brothers to allow the stockpiling and crushing of approximately 23,000 cubic yards of material at the old airport for inclusion in the County Road 8 road improvement project. The site requested for this work was as close as 210 feet from a residence and less than 1/4 mile from several homes, Devil Track Resort and the Landing Restaurant.  During the Special Meeting an alternate site east of the proposed processing site was suggested and ultimately approved by the Planning Commision for recommendation to the County Board. Other conditions were also applied to the IUP including limitation of the hours of operation, number of work days allowed for processing and requirements for noise and dust suppression.  The County Board voted unanimously to accept the recommendation of the Planning Commission.

Highway Department
Acting on the Highway Department's recommendation, the County Board authorized hiring Ulland Brothers to assist the Highway Department in excavating five culverts along the first mile west of the Gunflint Trail on CSAH 8.  The Highway Department proposes to excavate the culverts, backfill and patch the heaved roadway.

A Special Permit was approved for the Greater Grand Marais Chamber of Commerce Annual Classic Car Show to be held on Saturday, June 9, on Wisconsin Street downtown Grand Marais.

The County Board authorized  the Highway Department to advertise for bids to furnish and blend 2000 cubic yards of winter sand.

Liquor Licenses
Liquor licenses were approved for the Tofte General Store and the North Shore Bottle Company, subject to local and state approvals and ordinances.

Loan Request from Superior National Golf Course (SNGC)
SNGC General Manager Bob Fenwick, and EDA Chairman Mark Sandbo requested a $75,000 loan to cover early season expenditures at SNGC including Sirius Golf Advisors consulting contract, PGA Merchandise conference, new Point of Sale system, new Range Ball dispenser, marketing, and improving the Mountain Nine in preparation for closures during course renovation.  Originally these expenses were planned to be covered by the restructuring of the long term debt, but that restructuring has not occurred to date.  The request for this loan was approved by the County Board 4-1 (Hakes opposed).  Commissioner Hakes was opposed to the financing of any renovation without an approved financial committment plan for the renovation of 18 holes.

Arrowhead Regional Corrections
Comissioner Sobanja reported that ~$750,000 was approved in the State Bonding bill for renovations to Northeast Regional Corrections Center (NERCC); an additional $750,000 county match is required.  The Cook County match is $10-11,000 which was approved by the County Board.  Sobanja reported that an additional $1,000,000 in renovations to NERCC is also highly recommended, but no State Funding is allocated for this.  Cook County's share of these additional needs would be ~$15,000.

Energy Conservation and Renewable Energy Plan
A copy of the Cook County and Grand Marais Energy Conservation and Renewable Energy Plan, dated May 15, 2012, was provided to each Commissioner.

BWCAW School Trust Lands
Forest Service District Ranger Dennis Neitzke presented the USFS plan to submit a pre-proposal for a partial purchase of school trust lands combined with a partial land exchange between the United States and the State of Minnesota. 

Meeting Minutes
Copies of all County Board Meeting minutes will be available on the Cook County Website or by calling Janet Simonen at 387-3602.  A video of County Board Meetings will be posted on boreal.TV within a day or two after the meetings.