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County Board Meeting October 6

Posted: 10/06/2020

Author: Julie Anderson

Category: County Board, Departments, Public Works

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Douglas County Commissioners approved another round of financial assistance for businesses and nonprofits that suffered due to COVID. The county received funds through the CARES Act, and voted to use $3.2 million to directly help businesses and nonprofits. The city of Alexandria contributed additional funds making the total $3.55 million. At its Tuesday, October 6 meeting, commissioners approved another $1.382 million in grants to 71 agencies and businesses. That’s a total of $3.297 million after adjustments. Commissioners agreed to reimburse Horizon Public Health for its share of COVID costs which comes to $135,775.00 and to give $5,000 to a local marketing campaign designed to help Douglas County businesses.

Commissioners also approved $491,828.59 in CARES Act funding for the county. Department heads had submitted COVID-19 related costs and requests for technology items and sanitizing devices and supplies for future use during the pandemic. Auditor Treasurer Char Rosenow has been leading the CARES Act distribution effort. Commissioner Tim Kalina has also worked very hard as a member of the committee determining the eligibility of requests. Board Chair Keith Englund thanked them publicly for their dedicated work.

Commissioners voted to take another step toward the remodeling of the building at 822 Douglas Street in Alexandria. They will go out for formal bids following a building committee meeting Thursday, October 9. The board also approved holding a public hearing November 3 at 9 a.m. to discuss and approve the Capital Improvement Plan and the issuance of capital improvement bonds to pay for the remodeling of the 822 Douglas Street building and other projects over the next five years. The amount of bonds will not exceed $5.3 million.

Public Works

Tom Anderson, the county drainage inspector, requested $18,000.00 to repair two hundred feet of banks that are failing south of County Road 60 in the city of Millerville.

Douglas County Public Works Director and County Engineer Tim Erickson asked for final payment on the CSAH 9 project. He told the board the contract with Riley Brothers Construction for grading and aggregate base has been completed. The final payment of $180,635.98 was approved. The total value of work was $1.766 million. Erickson said the cost overrun was understandable given the difficult conditions on this project.

Erickson also had some not-so-good news for the commissioners. He explained there has been, in his words, a catastrophic slope failure on the County Road 7 road project. Erickson said the project had been going along very well until Friday. He said no one could have known this was going to happen and he blames the subgrade material that was used previously. Erickson and Assistant Public Works Director Scott Greene are working with the Minnesota Department of Transportation to quickly determine the best way to repair the damage. It will cost at least $400,000.

License Bureau

The hours of the Douglas County License Bureau will return to 8 to 4:30 Monday through Friday effective Monday, October 12. Susan Crotteau explained to the board that demand for longer hours is now reduced because summer is over. The hours may be extended once again next spring.

Sheriff’s Office

Douglas County Sheriff Troy Wolbersen asked the board to accept a donation of $100 from Barbara and Michael Tripp to be used for the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office K-9 program.

Land and Resource Management

The board approved the final plat for The Shores of Lake Ida which is being developed by Fahlgren Properties, LLC. This is a 9 lot residential subdivision on 11.5 acres. The lots will be connected to public sewer and have access to Lake Ida Way. Four of the proposed lots will have frontage on Lake Ida.

The board approved a preliminary plat for Burgen View First Addition. This involves an applicant proposing to adjust their east property line and acquire additional land that is now part of their neighbor’s lot.

A Conditional Use Permit for Deborah and David Waldvogel and Janet and Scott Mallin was approved which will allow the raising of eight livestock units within the residential shoreland zoning district.

A Memorandum of Agreement with the city of Osakis for a watercraft cleaning station is now approved. This station is part of the county’s Aquatic Invasive Species prevention program which has, as a goal, the installation of an onsite decontamination facility. Douglas county will purchase the cleaning station and install it at the Osakis south public access. This is the second busiest public water access in the county. The city of Osakis will maintain the station, including emptying waste containers, making minor repairs and winterization.   

Land and Resource Management Director Dave Rush asked commissioner to set a date for the solid waste designation ordinance public hearing. He reminded commissioners that in April of this year the board adopted a Joint Waste Designation Plan. This plan is to ensure that solid waste generated in Pope and Douglas Counties is delivered to our Waste to Energy facility in Alexandria. The waste is burned, the energy is recovered creating a valuable commodity while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and landfilling. The public hearing will be held at 1 p.m. on November 17 at Public Works to provide information to the haulers and members of the public. Pope-Douglas Solid Waste Management will then engage in a negotiation process with the haulers. 

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