Thursday, August 16, 2012

County Board Meeting August 14, 2012

County Board Chair Jan Hall, along with Commissioners Hakes, Johnson, Martinson and Sobanja were all present for the August 14 County Board Meeting. Also present were Auditor-Treasurer Braidy Powers and Personnel Director/Board Secretary Janet Simonen.

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

Courthouse 100th Year Anniversary
Maintenance Director Brian Silence asked the Board for permission to bury a time capsule on the Courthouse grounds as part of the Cook County Courthouse 100th Year Anniversary Celebration.  The Cook County Historical Society is planning the event for September 21, 2012. Save the date; it  promises to be a fun day!  Stay tuned for details!

Grand Marais Apartments Rental Rehabilitation Grantan
Scott Zahorek, Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency, and Laurie Spry, President of the GM Apartments Board, asked the County Board to approve a resolution in support of applying for a funding grant to rehabilitate the GM Apartments and for AEOA to administer the grant if successful.  The Cook County EDA Housing Authority supports this application and work.

State-in-Lieu Payment
Braidy Powers reported that Cook County will be receiving virtually the same State-in-Lieu payment in 2012 as in 2011.  Powers anticipates a payment of $255,478 which will be distributed with a significant portion to be applied to property tax levy reduction as is mandated.

USFS SRS Title III Funding
The Board approved a contract for $35,000 to create spatial data used to capture emergency management information across the Country.  This is part of the County's overall plan for use of funds from the USFS Service Title III Rural School Program.  More specifically, this contract work is in support of developing Community Wildfire Protection Plans.

FEMA Grant Committment for Matching Funds
The Board approved a letter of committment for matching funds for the 2010 FEMA Sprinkler grant program.  The match will be provided by the property owners served.

Capital Notes
Braidy Powers provided a list of equipment needed by the Highway Department and Law Enforcement, including plow trucks and ARMER Communications equipment.  The Board discussed the possible use of capital notes for funding this equipment as an alternative to levying the cost in the 2013 budget.

Gunflint Trail Firewise Grant
The Board approved a Grant application to perform L2 assessments on all properties in the Gunflint Trail fire district; these properties were assessed in 2005-2007.  Firewise Committee Policy is to re-assess properties every 5 years.  All match for this grant is in-kind.

Assessor/Land Commissioner Recruitment
Per Janet Simonen, 9 applications were received for the Assessor position opening due to Mary Black's resignation.  (3) of the candidates will be interviewed.

One Percent Projects
An Open House to celebrate the addition on the Grand Marais Library is scheduled for Saturday, August 18 from 10 am to Noon at the Library, of course.  Everyone is welcome!

Bids are being solicited for an early Community Center work package that includes the hockey rink, and demolition of the School's Silo.  A joint meeting work session of the County Board, ISD166 Board, and City Council is scheduled for August 23 from 1:00 to 4:30 pm.

Sue Hakes gave the Board an overview of the MIRC projects coming to conclusion in Cook County noting the amazing progress that was made in enhancing the use and access of existing and future broadband services in Cook County.

Recorder Dusty Nelms was appointed to represent Cook County on the MCIS Board.

The Cook County Local Energy Project Energy Plan will be available on the Cook County website.

Sue Hakes requested Board meet to discuss Budget goals and Board agreed; the meeting was set for August 28 from 2-4:00 pm

The Board thanked USFS Gunflint District Ranger Dennis Neitzke for his service to Cook County and wished him well in his new position in Bismarck ND.  Commissioner Jim Johnson showed heartfelt thanks for the help Neitzke brought to the Gunflint Trail and his willingness to work closely with the County, Fire Department, Historical Society and residents.

Meeting Minutes
Official meeting minutes will be available after approval by going to the County website or by contacting Janet Simonen at 218/387-3602 or at  You may also view the meeting in its entirety at Boreal.TV.