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County Board Meeting February 4

Posted: 02/06/2020

Author: Julie Anderson

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

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Library

The Douglas County library prides itself on serving the needs of the very young to the very old. There’s a librarian who specializes in serving children and soon there will be one who specializes in serving the needs of teenagers. Commissioners gave permission for Library Director Dawn Dailey to fill the part-time position of teen librarian.  

Public Works

Commissioners heard about exciting plans for two of the county’s parks. Park Superintendent Brad Bonk asked for approval on a proposed contract with Hagstrom Engineering to begin a master plan for Chippewa County Park. The plan is expected to include additional RV camping, a boardwalk to connect to the additional land recently acquired for the park, an update to the restroom which may include a storm shelter, additional trails and a site to put playground equipment once located at the First Lutheran Church. Hagstrom Engineering will visit the current park to assess and photograph existing conditions and research current recreation trends and opportunities as well as determine what constraints the county may encounter.

Commissioners approved funding the plan for $18,480. A planning committee will kick the project off with a meeting on February 19. That will be followed by a design concepts meeting on March 11, and a public open house sometime between March 25 and April 1. The committee will review public input on April 15 and produce a final concept on May 6.  

Bonk also informed commissioners about an anonymous donation of $90,000 for additional mountain bike trail construction at Lake Brophy County Park and Kensington Rune Stone Park. He says he would apply for additional federal funding.

Commissioners also approved Public Works Director Dave Robley’s request for a $17,087.40 contract with Newman Signs, Inc. of Jamestown, North Dakota.

Land and Resource Management

Director Dave Rush asked commissioners to approve excavator/landscape licenses for 5 companies and he asked them to approve the Pomme de Terre River Comprehensive Wastershed Management Plan. Douglas County has supported the development of comprehensive watershed management plans for the five watersheds that originate in the county. The Pomme de Terre River plan meets the requirements of the One Watershed, One Plan program. Staff from the Douglas County Land and Resource Management Department and the Soil and Water Conservation District have been involved in the development and review of the plan. The final draft of the plan was reviewed and discussed by the county board at two work sessions prior to the board meeting on February 4.  Commissioner Jerry Rapp asked and was given assurance the plan did not provide the Watershed with any taxing authority. Commissioners approved the plan which will now be submitted to the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources for its approval.

Auditor/Treasurer

The Auditor/Treasurer’s office asked the board to approve changes to the county’s procurement policy. Auditor/Treasurer Char Rosenow split the policy into two separate documents. The Douglas County Contract Administration Guidelines will now permit department heads to approve contracts under $10,000 if the funds are in the department’s approved budget for that year. Projects from $25,001 to $175,000 will require the development of specifications for bid proposals and quotes and a minimum of two written quotes. The board must then approve the contract.  Any projects over $175,000 must use the formal bid process.

At the end of each board meeting, the chairperson asks if there are any items from the floor. At this meeting Alan Roebke spoke about his hope the city could expand the airport to accept charter flights, that Douglas County commissioners support an effort to learn more about taxpayer funding of broadcast television stations like PBS and whether the funding mechanism is fair.

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