A public hearing for Greenleafton’s wastewater ordinance was held during the Tuesday, Aug. 5, Fillmore County Board of Commissioners’ meeting.
Three residents of Greenleafton appeared before the board to inquire about the wastewater project, which was to have been underway this summer, but due to various delays, is now set for next summer.
They inquired about the delay and the commissioners acknowledged that the project was supposed to be done this summer but numerous technical delays changed the starting date.
The action on the meeting’s agenda last Tuesday was to deal with adopting the ordinance governing the project — the board members passed a vote to accept the ordinance immediately following comments from the public.
Sheila Craig, community wastewater facilitator for the Greenleafton wastewater project, presented news on how many people are lined up to be the wastewater treatment plant’s operator.
“We’ve gotten no bids for operation and maintenance. We need to re-bid this,” she said.
Commissioner Duane Bakke asked, “Did we solicit specific companies to do this?”
Craig replied, “We did not put it out for the general public because it requires a specific license — we looked up all six of the individuals who are qualified, and we got no answer.”
Bakke quipped, “So our follow-up will be what, ‘Please?’”
The board also discussed accepting extension request forms from residents whose septic systems are relatively new and who wish to connect to the community system when their septic systems no longer serve their homes well.
The board also heard a review of 2013’s medical examiner services provided by R. Ross Reichard, M.D., of the Southern Minnesota Regional Medical Examiner’s Office.
Reichard reported the county had “one case that was classified as homicide,” and he clarified that “when we rule that it’s homicide, the cause is the underlying pathology, but just because we rule something as a homicide, or a death at the hands of another,” it doesn’t necessarily mean that the pathology will dictate the legal actions.
Reichard also related the medical examiner works with families of individuals who are in hospice so when a death occurs at home unattended by a physician, the individual who passes away is already registered with the examiner so that emergency services do not have to be called.
“If they’re not registered, then we have to call EMS, the fire department, the police,” he explained.
Fillmore County Sheriff Daryl Jensen stated the sheriff’s office is “very pleased with the services we get from Dr. Reichard, and we love the convenience of it, but most all, we feel comfortable with the process used.”
Fillmore County Attorney Brett Corson added, “They were very helpful with a case I had.”
Kristina Kohn, human resource officer, asked the board to approve the hiring of a new head mechanic for the highway department, at union scale pay effective Aug. 18, and a vote passed to hire the individual.
Discussion ensued regarding a reclassification request for a paralegal to Bjorklund Consulting, the firm that reviews the county’s job descriptions, as recommended by Corson.
The board had found itself in a small quandary in relation to the educational requirements it wanted to list in the job posting since the job has changed over the time that the current paralegal has held it.
Kohn said, “If I were posting this ad, I would definitely be sure that it has ‘AA with experience’ in there.”
Commissioner Tom Kaase noted, “We talk about the position and the person in the position…to get applicants in the door, what are the minimums we want to set?”
Corson stated, “A minimum of four years’ experience…language skills are difficult because it’s part speaking, part writing…my point is that when we’re hiring, there’s no level ‘four and a half’ to hire.”
The commissioners approved the job description to be posted as amended.
Jensen requested the commissioners accept the 2014 Emergency Management Performance Grant, a grant that he observed requires a match from the county, but it covers telephone costs, wages and training and conference registrations. The board agreed with Jensen and accepted the grant on his recommendation.
The board also heard from auditor and treasurer Shirl Boelter, who brought forward the amended Minnesota Counties Computer Cooperative’s amended and restated joint powers agreement for approval.
The board set a special meeting for primary canvassing for Friday, Aug. 15, at 9 a.m. and the general election canvassing date as Friday, Nov. 7, at 9 a.m.
The board questioned a joint powers agreement with the state of Minnesota for a matching grant to allow a Minnesota Pollution Control Agency advance inspector to be summoned for the Greenleafton project and went on to discuss how grants proposed to or sought by the county’s offices should be handled.
Highway engineer Ronald Gregg asked the board to consider calling a public hearing addressing the proposed half-cent local sales tax option that would help provide funding for the preservation and maintenance of the county’s roads. A hearing has been scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 26, at 10 a.m. in the commissioners’ boardroom.
Gregg brought forward the bid results for a bridge replacement project in Sumner Township. Minnowa Construction won the contract with the lower bid of $399,413. ICON Constructors submitted a bid of $444,873. The project was estimated by the county to cost $409,419.
The board heard proposed 2015 budgets from Corson, zoning administrator Chris Graves and feedlot officer Mike Frauenkron, county surveyor Jeff Brand, county assessor Cindy Blagsvedt and Cris Gastner of the county’s economic development department.
The board set the annual truth in taxation hearing for Dec. 2 at 6:30 p.m.