Discussion was brief in a short county commissioner's meeting at the Fillmore County Courthouse on Tuesday morning. Chris Graves reported he had been contacted by design firm Stantec, which felt there needed to be more things done at the county and city level in preparation for the proposed veterans' cemetery.

Graves said because of this, Stantec would need a conditional use permit (CUP). The county, therefore, would need to apply for the CUP since the land that would be used for the cemetery is currently used for agriculture. The public hearing would be held on March 28 after the planning commission meeting.

Commissioner Marc Prestby asked why the county would need to be applying for this permit. Duane Bakke commented that since the county is the owner of the land, they would need to obtain the CUP for Stantec. The fee for the CUP is $450 and would be paid out of the general department fund to the Zoning Department.

Prestby stated he thought the county was trying to get away from interdepartmental charges. Graves responded, saying they wanted to make sure normal procedure was followed to show the county is on the up and up with handling charges.

Commissioner Randy Dahl suggested waiving the fee associated with the CUP pointing out, "We're paying it to ourselves."

County Attorney Brett Corson said he thought that would be a reasonable approach, but he didn't know if waiving the fee would prevent the county from getting reimbursed. The board approved the CUP application for Fillmore County as well as the payment of the fee.

In a related issue, some discussion also centered around sending an application to the city of Preston requesting a zoning change on another separate piece of property owned by the county, but is also within the city limits.

The zoning change would change it from industrial to residential, or R1, status. The required fee from the city of Preston for this is $200. Chuck Amunrud shared this was a very important step toward making sure everything is in order if the proposed veterans' cemetery is accepted.

Snowmobile club

Auditor/treasurer Shirl Boelter presented a resolution to the county board that detailed the Bluff Valley Riders Snowmobile Club's 2013 DNR trail grant application for the installation of a snowmobile bridge over Canfield Creek in Forestville State Park.

If awarded the Federal Recreational Trail Program Grant, the board would agree to accept it for the Bluff Valley Riders and award an additional 25 percent match as required for the grant. The bridge would be maintained for at least 20 years or as stated by the DNR.

The board approved the resolution.


Public Health director of nursing Lantha Stevens recommended the board approve a reduction in Public Health nurse Tina Peters' full-time status to 0.8 full-time for a temporary leave to pursue a Master's Degree in Public Health through the University of Minnesota.

Peters would be re-evaluated in the fall after her February through May schooling.

"She will come back with great experience," shared Stevens, describing the field experience Peters will go through in assisting Ramsey County in completing their Community Health Assessment.

Fillmore County is also proceeding through its Community Health Assessment.

Amunrud said this was a "win-win for everyone" and the board unanimously approved the temporary reduction with the understanding that it would be increased to full-time next fall.

Bridge projects, maintenance

Two bridge replacement projects were approved for bid advertising, as proposed by county engineer Ronald Gregg. These projects are the Chatfield Township Bridge, located southeast of the city of Chatfield, and the County State Aid Highway 15 that is southwest of Preston.

Bakke asked Gregg if there would be significant re-alignment done on the bridges. Gregg responded that wasn't in the plans; only minor approach work would be completed for both bridges.

In its discussion with Gregg, the board also approved a change order for adjustments to the floor covering in the Highway Administration building. The floor was a vinyl, but Gregg received permission to change it to carpet and tile flooring. The cost of the change order was half of what the vinyl flooring cost.

Other business

The board approved a resolution that authorized the Southeastern Minnesota Housing Network to be able to administer funds coming from the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency Homeless Prevention & Assistance Program. The Minnesota Housing Finance Agency provides those funds to county-approved entities to help homeless or at-risk families with children, youth and single adults. The Southeastern Minnesota Housing Network works through the Lutheran Social Services LINK Program, Olmsted Community Action, Semcac and Three Rivers Community Action.

The board discussed its membership in the Southeastern Minnesota Association Regional Trails (SMART) and approved the payment of a $25 membership fee. Commissioner Tom Kaase is the board representative to SMART and Bakke is an alternative representative.

The resignation of an intermittent and part-time deputy sheriff, Richard Dahly, was accepted by the county board.