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County Board Meeting February 18

Posted: 02/19/2020

Author: Julie Anderson

Category: County Board, Departments, Parks & Trails, Public Works

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Commissioners heard detailed information on the progress of two county departments serving the county’s residents and they approved a variety of routine matters at their meeting February 18.

Land & Resource Management 

Commissioners were asked to approve six excavator/landscaper licenses and one disposal hauler license. They did so unanimously.

Veteran Services

Veteran Services Officer Jake Turner asked the board to approve out of state training for the county’s Assistant VSO Rhonda Fuchs. This training will open further accreditation avenues for Fuchs. The board approved the request. Commissioners denied a request for the purchase of a used vehicle for the Veteran Services Office, asking that staff look to other departments to use vehicles already owned by the county.  

Turner then provided detailed information on the activity in his office from July 1, 2019 through December 31, 2019. He showed the increase in the number of walk-in visits, phone calls, email inquiries and those received through the mail. He also broke down outreach efforts, and the number of van riders who take advantage of a ride to medical appointments at VA facilities in Minneapolis, St. Cloud and Fargo.

Public Works

County Engineer Dave Robley asked to publish calls for bids for paving projects and shared with commissioners a map of the projects for 2019. He asked for permission to publish a call for bids to apply Liquid Calcium Chloride in the county and a bid for highway striping. Robley asked to spend $26,761.95 for updated engineering equipment which will be purchased off the state contract and he asked for approval of planned maintenance agreements from G & R Controls. One contract will be with Douglas County Public Works, another will be for services at the Douglas County Jail. Commissioners approved the requests.

They also agreed to support a grant application to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to construct four miles of all-weather single-track trail for the Kensington Rune Stone Park Trail System and one mile of single-track trail, one skills course and one pump track for the Lake Brophy County Park. Commissioner Jerry Rapp questioned an expenditure for $2,999.99 for Jake’s Bikes. Parks Superintendent Brad Bonk told them it was for an electric bike to be used by staff to inspect and maintain the bike trails. 

Emergency Management/Public Information Office

County Commissioner Tim Kalina and county Public Information Officer Julie Anderson are on the Douglas County Complete Count Census Committee. The committee received a $750 grant to be used to help get information to the public regarding the importance of filling out the 2020 Decennial Census. The board voted to accept the grant.

Coordinator’s Office

The Coordinator’s Office asked commissioners to approve the county’s revised Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) policy. The purpose of the updated policy is to ensure Douglas County will strive to provide its electronic and digital services in a way that respects the dignity and independence of people with disabilities unless it is an undue burden to do so. 

The policy pledges the county is developing and maintaining access to government records, services and web pages so they are accessible.  ADA Coordinator Stephanie Hadler has held training for department heads and others to teach them the basics of creating and editing documents to make them ADA compliant on the website.

Commissioners approved the updated policy.

Social Services

Community Service Director Laurie Bonds asked commissioners to approve a digital printing license for the child support staff, an amended contract with Lakeland Mental Health and an interagency cooperative agreement with the Minnesota Department of Human Services, Child Support Division and Douglas County.

Director Bonds, Karen Bryant and Senior Services Coordinator Joyce McIntosh appeared before commissioners to discuss McIntosh’s first year on the job. Dancing Sky Area Agency on Aging provides a substantial amount of grant money to fund the senior services office and outlines the following expectations: provide direct assistance to seniors with health care insurance, Medicare and prescription drug coverage, provide outreach in the community on Medicare 101 and the Low-Income Subsidy/Medicare Savings Program and provide assistance in solving problems related to these issues. Sixty percent of the senior coordinator’s time is spent on Dancing Sky responsibilities. The question to commissioners at today’s meeting was shaping future goals and challenges and the board’s expectations and desired outcomes. The discussion centered around how to make Douglas County an age friendly location for residents and visitors. Bonds says McIntosh is doing a great job and she appreciates her passion for the position.

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