The Fillmore County Board of Commissioners dealt with a variety of issues in a brief meeting held on Tuesday, Oct. 22. Highway projects, grants and technology were among the items on the agenda.

Highway report

Commissioner Duane Bakke gave an updated report on highway and bridge projects currently being completed or worked on within the county.

County Road 24 has been completed and County Road 23 between Lenora and Highway 52 just recently commenced paving as part of a full-depth reclamation project. Bridges that had been washed out by the June 23 flood event will soon be constructed along Colt Road and County Road 23. Bakke said the Grosbeak Road bridge replacement was being discussed between FEMA representatives and Carrolton Township.

There is still county interest in turning back Highway 118 to the DNR. The road, which runs through Forestville State Park, has been closed since 2008. Bakke said there had been discussion in the highway committee about conducting a possible tour of the area and deciding which parts the county would turn back to the state and which parts they would keep.

The county will be partnering with Stantec Consulting in the engineering design of the city of Harmony road project. The project entails work from County Road 44 and up to Center Street on County Road 35. The city will be replacing some water main running by the school. The hourly contract with Stantec is not to exceed a total of $75,000. The city will be expected to pay 29 percent of the total cost of the project.

A final payment of roughly $24,000 was made to install runway lighting and navigational aid at the Fillmore County Airport.

Health and Human Resources

Jason Marquardt, County Veterans Services Officer, announced the county would be receiving a $10,000 grant for office enhancement and outreach improvement. Bakke asked Marquardt to see if he could tie the money into doing something for the veterans' cemetery.

The Fillmore-Houston Community Health Services received a grant award of $100,000 from the Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP). Director of Nursing Lantha Stevens said it had been a competitive grant and would go toward developing community leadership teams with their school, community, workplace and healthcare facilities partners. The strategies and plans developed from the team will be submitted for funding to implement them. Strategies will target increasing physical activity, reduced tobacco use and proper nutrition. Implementation will begin July 1, 2014, and run for a full year.

The 2014-2015 Minnesota Family Investment Program agreement was approved, which will provide the Department of Human Services with information needed to increase the economic stability of low-income families served with consolidated funds.

Recruitment for a social services manager is continuing and the board approved the position to be opened up to the public with an application deadline set for Nov. 1. Interviews will be conducted on Nov. 13. Likewise, an office support specialist, senior merit position was opened to the public.

The county coordinator position recruitment is going forward into the interview stage. Interviews will occur on Nov. 5 and they will be open to the public, since each candidate will be interviewed by the full board. Human Resources Director Kristina Kohn suggested the board follow up with a second round of interviews with a panel consisting of department heads, commissioners and members of the community. The board was agreeable to the suggestion.

Other news

A technology upgrade will see 21 computers running Windows XP from 2006 replaced by personal computers and laptops off the state contract. The reason the computers are being replaced is because they will not be supported as of April 2014.

The board approved the authorization and sending of a Small Community Wastewater Treatment Program application to the Minnesota Public Facilities Authority for funds to be used in the Greenleafton Sewer Project as recommended by the Greenleafton Community Septic System Committee.

An application for the Performance and Registration Information Systems Management (PRISM) tax software was approved to reduce the mandated expense of switching the county's tax program over to PRISM. County Auditor/Treasurer Shirl Boelter explained all 87 counties could apply for a share of the $300,000 pool of money appropriated by the legislature for the implementation of PRISM, which will change the way counties gather, send and analyze property tax data.

Coordinator Karen Brown gave the annual safety report in which the number of recordable injuries was below the state average. The county had been awarded the Governor's Safety Award for 2012.