Monday, October 15, 2012

Board Meeting 10/9/12: ATVs, Community Center Agreements, Courthouse Security

County Board Chair Jan Hall, along with Commissioners Sue Hakes, Jim Johnson, Bruce Martinson and Fritz Sobanja were all present for the 10/9/12 County Board Meeting.  Also present were Auditor-Treasurer Braidy Powers and Personnel Director/Board Secretary Janet Simonen.

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

Subordinate Service District Request
Tom Lake residents Steve Sopata and John Muhich came before the Board to request consideration for creation of a Subordinate Service District to snowplow on Irish Creek, Tom Lake and Powers Lake roads.  Sopata and Muhich reported an estimated 20 property owners have signed a petition in support of this request.  The County Board voted unanimously to schedule a Public Hearing on this matter.

Highway Department
The County board welcomed  recently hired Assistant County Engineer Sam Muntean after he was introduced by County Engineer David Betts.

The County Board voted to approve the final payment on project CP 12-02 Furnish Aggregate Stockpile, Class 1 and Class 5, to Edwin E. Thoreson in the amount of $31,622.13.  The overage of $7209.78 was due to slight variances in crushing totals at the various pits and to the crushing of 1,000 additional cubic yards for multiple maintenance projects.

The Board authorized a capital purchase of $2914.64 for office furniture for Assistant Engineer Sam Muntean.

Cook County Ordinance #54 Review
Cook County Sheriff Mark Falk presented the Annual Report from the Sheriff's Office, Highway Department, and DNR on ATV Use in Cook County.  Sheriff Falk reported that no citations were issued in 2011 and just one citation has been issued to date in 2012.  The Sheriff also noted that according to Cook County Conservation Officers, fewer wetland violations are occurring since the permission to ride ATVs on the shoulders of most County Roads was granted with this Ordinance.

Ordinance #54 shall expire of its own accord 3 years after the effective date of July 1, 2010, but the County Board could delete the expiration language from the Ordinance.  The Board agreed to put this discussion on the agenda for a future meeting, including the possibility of scheduling a Public Hearing.

Cook County All-Hazard Mitigation Plan
The Board authorized an Amendment to the County's All-Hazard Mitigation Plan as proposed by Emergency Manager Jim Wiinanen.   The changes in this amendment will allow Cook County to propose projects to include a community safe room, improved GIS capability for wildfire mitigation and response, protection of ground and surface water supplies, and burial of utilities lines and redundant communications infrastructure.

Snowplow Bids
The County Board moved to award the 2012-2013 winter season snow removal bid to low bidder Concrete Design and Landscaping as recommended by Maintenance Director Brian Silence.

County Auditor-Treasurer Business
The Board approved the Report of Unclaimed Property for a total of $198.71.

The Board passed a resolution to accept State of MN Agreement No. 02050 entitled "Grant Agreement for Airport Excluding Land Acquisition" for the Airport Runway Pavement Rehabilitation Program.

Cook County Revolving Loan Fund Requests
As recommended by the County Revolving Loan Committee, several requests for funding were approved with little need for discussion including:  LeAnn Zunker of 1010 Interiors ($5,000), Jennifer Stoltz of Cook County Coop ($75,000), Shawn Maravigli for lawn maintenance business ($10,650), and Charles Skinner of Lutsen Mountains Corp for snow making equipment ($25,000).

Represented by Tom Ryder, Charles Skinner of Lutsen Mountain Corp also requested $49,000 to purchase ~5-acres adjacent to the Lutsen Mountains parking lot from George Nelson.  This loan was approved with the assurance that this loan approval was not contingent upon, nor a demonstration of support for, the EDA to purchase 4-acres from Lutsen Mountain.

Matt Geretschlaeger presented a revised funding request for his company Superior Zip Line, LLC, to build a zip line operation on the Gunflint Trail. Geretschlaeger reduced the size of his originally proposed project by downsizing the building and reducing the total project request from $929,300 to $825,000.  He also reported that he was unable to retain bank financing.  As a result, Geretschlaeger is restructuring his finance plan in part by increasing his request from IRRB by $100,000 to $350,000.  The amount requested from the County Revolving Loan fund remains the same at $250,000 with security for this loan provided by land owned by Geretschlaeger.  This request was approved by the County Board on a 4-1 vote with Sue Hakes opposed.  Hakes felt the land proposed as security wasn't enough and that the business plan didn't support the debt.

Grand Marais Public Library 
Librarian Linda Chappell reported to the Board that the public is enjoying the new building and programs being offered in the expanded library space.  She also expressed the gratitude of the Library Board to the County for their help.

Chappell submitted landscaping bills totaling $9,395.06 which were approved for payment from the 1% tax as originally budgeted for the Library Project.  The County Board also approved the ~$53,600 remaining to finish the north wall and purchase furniture

Community Center Contracts
The County Board approved several documents related to the Community Center Project as presented by County Attorney Tim Scannell and Attorney Baiers Hereen:
a)  Draft Management Agreement between Cook County and the YMCA
b) Draft Joint Powers Agreement between the City and the County regarding cost-sharing for the facility
c) Draft Purchase Agreement with Contingencies for the West End of ISD166.

Each of these agreements has been agreed to in principal by the parties involved (Grand Marais City Council, ISD#166 School Board and Cook County Board of Commissioners) and are being routed for final changes and attorney reviews.

Arrowhead Health Alliance
The Board approved the Arrowhead Health Alliance 2nd Amended Joint Powers Agreement for Health Care Services to include St. Louis County in this alliance.

The County Board held a closed session with Steven Swenson of CJES to receive his Security Report and discuss Security Plans for Cook County.

The Board held a closed session to discuss non-public health data of a county employee.

Meeting Minutes
Official Meetings Minutes of the County Board may be obtained by calling Janet Simonen at 218-387-3602 or by going to the Cook County website.