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Douglas County Board Meeting September 6 2022

Posted: 09/06/2022

Author: Julie Anderson

Category: County Board, Departments

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The Douglas County Board of Commissioners met Tuesday, September 6.

Sheriff's Office

Douglas County Sheriff Troy Wolbersen presented a resolution to accept a $1,000.00 donation from LaGrand Township for use by the Search and Rescue Dive Team. Commissioners approved the resolution.

County Attorney

Chad Larson asked the board to approve hiring outside counsel to handle a civil lawsuit against the county. The board approved the request.

County Board

A draft version of the 2021 Douglas County Audit was presented by Miranda Wendlandt with Clifton Larson Allen. She explained the results of the audit and told commissioners the fund balance is healthy. She walked through revenue sources and expenditures and took a closer look at the general fund revenues and expenditures, Public Works revenues and expenditures, and Human Services revenues and expenditures. Wendlandt also reviewed changes to accounting standards regarding the leasing of vehicles. The county board discussed reviewing the costs of accounting for leased vehicles and whether it needs to take a second look at leasing versus purchasing.

Commissioners approved a resolution honoring a hometown company. Ollie’s Service has longstanding roots in Douglas County and is this year’s recipient of the Business & Industrial Appreciation Day award from the Chamber of Commerce and Alexandria Area Economic Development Commission. October 25, 2022 will officially be recognized and proclaimed as Ollie’s Service Day in Douglas County.

Don Kleine, Douglas County Fair Board President spoke to commissioners about the fair’s 2023 county allocation request. Kleine said there is a need to repair concrete on the inside of the grandstand ceiling at a cost of $25,000 and $5,000 to repair or replace the leaking skylight in the cattle barn. He also said the game and fish building on the fairgrounds needs remodeling. Commissioners suggested the building be torn down and replaced rather than repaired. They awarded the fair board $20,000 which is the same amount as 2022.

Land and Resource Management

Dave Rush asked commissioners to approve sending the completed Long Prairie River Comprehensive Watershed Management Plan to the Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR). The board also approved $30,000 from the Douglas County Water Quality Legacy Fund be used to restore 18 prairie pothole wetland basins on a new U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s grassland conservation easement. These basins, according to the proposal, will provide fantastic habitat for waterfowl and other wetland birds as well provide flood storage, groundwater recharge and water quality improvements.

The board also approved a grant of $18,600 to assist lower income property owners with the replacement of septic treatment systems.

Public Works

Public Works Director Tim Erickson asked the board to approve final payment to Knife River Corporation for the 2022 Liquid Calcium Chloride contract. Erickson also asked for and was given permission to proceed with the bid process for roadway paving and creation of two parking lots at Pilgrim Point Park.

Coordinator’s Office

County Coordinator Heather Schlangen shared a 2022 dividend from Minnesota Counties Intergovernment Trust (MCIT). Douglas County received a $79,166 dividend for keeping workers compensation costs lower than was expected.


Steph Guttum appeared on behalf of Auditor/Treasurer Vicki Doehling. She asked the board to approve two gambling permits for raffles to be held at the Alexandria Shooting Park.

The board also declined to create a fee for a new off-sale brewer license that allows for the sale of up to 128 ounces of beer per day in smaller containers than the traditional 64-ounce growlers. This will allow for 12 or 16 ounce cans to be used to bottle beer giving it a longer shelf life for consumers. Northmen Brewing Company applied for and was given this new license at the September 6 meeting.

Closed Session

The board went into a closed session to discuss the purchase of property just west of the Public Works building. That property is owned by the fair board.

Items from the floor

Finally, there was one item from the floor. Sven Swanson spoke for the second time before the board concerning election integrity. He asked the board to discontinue the use of electronic poll books which are used to count ballots, mark ballots, and sign in and register voters. Minnesotans always cast their vote on paper ballots which are then scanned. Commissioners listened but took no action.


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