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Douglas County Board Meeting May 17 2022

Posted: 05/23/2022

Author: Julie Anderson

Category: County Board, Departments

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The Douglas County Board of Commissioners met Tuesday, May 17 and voted on a number of issues including the following:

Commissioners postponed work on the roundabout at County Roads 82 and 45, near the Alexandria YMCA. Public Works had estimated the cost to build the roundabout would be approximately $2 million but the low bid was $3.4 million. A number of factors likely impacted the bidding process, including a need to work around the Douglas County Fair which is located in very close proximity to the intersection. Commissioners will work with Public Works to determine the next step and timeline.

Work should be able to proceed on The Rune which is an apartment/retail complex in downtown Alexandria. The commissioners approved a Joint Powers Agreement with the St. Paul Port Authority which provides a $5 million assessment on the property so the developer can get a loan and install energy efficient equipment in the structure. The agreement is part of the Property Assessed Clean Energy Program. Or MinnPACE.

Carlos Township asked commissioners for assistance in maintaining Pike Road which is the heavily used road to the Douglas County Demolition and Landfill area. The township members said the road was not meant for heavy garbage trucks and much of the traffic is county wide. The board approved having the county engineer draw up a plan and estimates of costs to guide future decisions on what should be done to make improvements and who should pay.

The city of Osakis asked the board to restrict parking on County Road 3 which is to the east of the Osakis school and district office. The concern is over safety in that area. Commissioners approved the request and the area will be marked no parking.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Social Services Director Laurie Bonds introduced an opportunity for commissioners to learn more about the unmet needs in Douglas County’s Mental Health System. Among the concerns of the local advisory council are: a three to four month wait for initial appointments with a psychiatrist, waiting lists for affordable housing, Douglas County does not have a four bed crisis facility, and lack of affordable transportation outside of regular business hours. On the positive side are the Region 4 Mobile Crisis Team, Vikingland Community Support Program’s drop-in center, and Individual Placement and Supports which is a team approach to assisting individuals with a mental health diagnosis find and maintain competitive employment with supports.

Commissioners allowed Willow Storage Properties LLC to construct a two-phase rental storage business in Garfield. Eventually more than 200 units will be built on a 9.43 acre site on County State Aid Highway 22.  Asphalt pavement driveways will be laid to access the ten buildings. Commissioners asked Land & Resource Management Director Dave Rush about stormwater runoff and Commissioner Keith Englund shared that the city of Garfield has concerns about flooding caused by this project. Rush explained that the property owner will need to provide stormwater collection, treatment and rate control which will be achieved through ponding on the westerly side of the site.    

Auditor Treasurer Vicki Doehling asked for permission to fill election related boards. Those boards are the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Voting Act, Absentee Ballot Board and Canvassing Board.

 

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