At the Jan. 14 Fillmore County Board of Commissioners regular meeting, Kristina Kohn from Human Resources, informed the board that due to the Jan. 1 elimination of sales tax previously required to be paid by counties, the quote for automated external defibrillator purchases had decreased.

The county was using a $68,680 federal grant to purchase 30 AEDs to be placed in public places throughout the county. With the savings, they will be able to purchase and place two more. Kohn asked the board what their wishes were for where the AEDs should be placed. She had spoken with Reggie Worlds, Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs deputy commissioner of programs and services, about possibly donating the AEDs to the new veterans cemetery. The board approved the purchase of two more AEDs, but directed Kohn to find out if there were any other places in the county that had a need for an AED.

Kohn also presented a photo book containing pictures taken at the veterans cemetery ground breaking. She said the book would cost about $18.50. Following discussion, the board approved Kohn to advertise the book in the county and develop a pre-pay ordering system, which will allow interested individuals to purchase a book through the Veterans Service Office.

Highway report

Fillmore County engineer Ronald Gregg received approval from the board to begin bid advertising for the reconstruction of County Road 1 in Spring Valley. The reconstruct will begin during the coming spring and the road will be built to have a concrete surface. Gregg said he and the Highway Committee would be having a discussion on what road projects in the county will be completed in 2014.

Gregg also alerted the board to a change in the detour contract with the Minnesota Department of Transportation. The original contract had County Roads 12 and 21 being used as detours while County Road 44 construction was ongoing. However, following the Choice bridge washout on County Road 43 last June, County Roads 10, 23 and 37 were also used. The board approved the amended contract, which included a MnDOT reimbursement of $633 for damages to the additional three detour roads.

Discussion was had on truck size and weight limits. Commissioner Duane Bakke shared that the US DOT was running a study on weight limits that could have impact on Minnesota county roads and bridges. According to Bakke, the Association of Minnesota Counties was waiting until the completion of the study during the next autumn to see if they needed to include opposition to it in the legislative platform. Commissioner Chair Chuck Amunrud said 80,000 lbs. per single unit was enough saying, "the roads were originally engineered for that weight." He added that increasing weight would not only impact the quality of roads and bridges, but increase the probability of having more severe accidents. The board approved sending a letter to AMC to support legislation in favor of keeping the current weight limits.

In other business, the board approved the expenditure of $400 to have the veterans cemetery renderings framed.

The board approved the transfer of $10,000 to the Fillmore County Insurance Account in order to meet insurance payments for 2014.

The commissioners will hold a legislative forum with Rep. Greg Davids and Sen. Jeremy Miller during the next board meeting on Jan. 28. They will present the county's legislative platform, which was approved at the meeting.