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County Board Meeting January 5, 2021

Posted: 01/05/2021

Category: County Board, Departments

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Special Reorganization Meeting

Commissioner Jerry Rapp is the Douglas County Board Chair for 2021. His fellow commissioners voted unanimously to appoint him to that position. Tim Kalina will serve as vice chair. The board also established meeting dates and times at its reorganization meeting Tuesday, January 5. To contact your commissioner, go to http://staging.co.douglas.mn.us/dc/contact-your-commissioner.aspx

There are more than 50 boards and committees on which members of the Douglas County Board sit. Some require the full board; others have one or two commissioners appointed. After discussion and minor revision, the commissioners approved their committee and board assignments for the year.

And, after the completion of a bid process, commissioners selected the Echo Press as the board’s legal publication for the year and awarded vehicle maintenance to Shutter’s.

Regular Meeting

County Attorney

The county attorney presented commissioners with an opportunity to make changes to the contract for medical examiner transports. The county contracts with funeral homes to retrieve bodies and, when requested, transport them to the Anoka County Medical Examiner’s Office for review. Last year Anderson Funeral Home and Lind Funeral Home provided this service on an alternating monthly schedule for a dollar each time the service was needed. Curt Lind asked the board this year to cover the costs of that service. He requested $95 for the retrieval of a body and mileage when his staff needs to transport the body to Anoka. He said the cost would be just over $300 total each time. The board approved his request and said the same payment fee schedule would be made to the Anderson Funeral Home.  

Sheriff’s Office

Sheriff Troy Wolbersen asked the board to accept a donation of $12,500.00 from Lakes Area Law Dog to be used for the purchase of a K9. The payment was issued directly to Canine Tactical, LLC.

He also asked the board to accept a grant agreement amendment for an additional $10,000 to the $140,000 grant already in place to fund the Violent Crime Enforcement Teams. The grant is from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

Social Services

Community Human Services Director Laurie Bonds requested the board approve the following contracts:

Region 4 South Mental Health Consortium Joint Powers Agreement. Douglas, Grant, Pope, Stevens, and Traverse County make up the Region 4 South Mental Health Consortium and provide adult mental health services. A commissioner from each of the counties will now sit on the Governing Board. Commissioner Keith Englund will serve in that capacity for Douglas County.  

Seneca Searches. Seneca Residential and Day Treatment Center (Seneca Center) is a nonprofit agency. The county purchases a subscription to Seneca Center’s Family Finding Search Service which is used for child welfare purposes.

Central MN Mental Health Center. The center will provide referrals from Douglas County for initial health assessments, detoxification surveillance and protection of a client, evaluation of chemical dependency and psycho-social functioning, short term counseling and discharge planning.

Alexandria Opportunities Center. The center is a program of Productive Alternatives and provides day training and habilitation supported employment and prevocational structured day services.  

Public Works

Commissioners approved a resolution that allows the board to allocate funds (up to 20% per year) from tax forfeited property sales specifically to acquire and maintain Douglas County parks and recreational areas for the betterment of Douglas County and its citizens and visitors.

County Engineer Tim Erickson also asked the board for final approval of equipment purchases and sales of used equipment for 2020. They include a tandem plow truck, mini excavator, ice breaker, walk and roll grader packer, hoist, and a cold storage building.  The board approved Erickson’s requests.

Land and Resource

Commissioners approved licenses for the following categories: Excavator/Landscaper, Demolition, Disposal Hauler and Transfer Station.

Auditor Treasurer

Douglas County businesses impacted by the latest state executive order related to COVID-19 will get additional relief. Auditor/Treasurer Char Rosenow told the board that Douglas County will apply for and receive 754,292.20. One hundred percent of that will be given to eligible businesses.

Nicole Fernholz with the Alexandria Area Economic Development Commission will coordinate the application process. A committee made up of Fernholz, county auditor/treasurer and staff, Commissioner Tim Kalina, and Tara Bitzen, from the Chamber of Commerce, will review the applications which will be given final approval by the board of commissioners. More details are available on https://livingalexarea.org

County Coordinator

The board approved a contract with Minnesota Teamsters Public and Law Enforcement Employees’ Union Local #320 which represents correctional officers, dispatchers, STS, and records techs.

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