"This is a good thing...to get rid of unwanted and unused prescription drugs," said Fillmore County Sheriff Daryl Jensen as he presented information about the National Take Back Initiative prescription drug collection. Fillmore County will once again participate on Saturday, April 26, gathering prescription drugs that might otherwise become part of the waste stream, or worse, be abused by people for whom they were not prescribed.

Commissioner Tom Kaase asked, "If people aren't given the opportunity to do this, what happens to the drugs?"

Jensen replied, "Flushed."

Kaase observed, "Then it goes into our groundwater..."

Jensen went on, "We want to collect them and get rid of these for people, have a long-term solution for people (to dispose of prescription drugs)."

He reported the sheriff's office will be working in conjunction with the Chatfield, Rushford and Preston police departments, as there will be six drop-off sites - Chatfield, Rushford, Preston, Spring Valley, Lanesboro and Harmony.

Last year's collection was successful, according to the sheriff, who noted over 100 pounds of drugs - even some from the 1960s - were deposited for proper disposal with the county.

"We transport the drugs to the incinerator and it's very low cost," Jensen added. "People like it, they want it...we're considering possibly getting our own drop box and we have to decide if we want to assume the cost of people dropping drugs off. They've even brought their prescriptions in to us during the year."

Highway department

Highway engineer Ronald Gregg asked the board to approve advertising for bids for County Road 17 in Preston, and the board voted favorably.

Next, the commissioners awarded the County Road 35 project in the city of Harmony to A-1 Excavating, Inc., for $930,189.75. Pember Companies bid $958,913.75, and Rochester Sand & Gravel bid $1,021,287.03.

Lease agreement

The commissioners considered terminating a lease agreement between the county and ITC Midwest, LLC, for a plot of land the company has been using for secure parking.

The commissioners questioned whether the fencing the company installed should be left in place or removed as per the lease's conditions.

Commissioner Chuck Amunrud acknowledged the company "has been a good tenant...I'm not opposed to breaking the lease, but I think we need more information."

The board tabled the matter until the next meeting.

Other business

Kaase commended Gregg for his public presentation of information regarding County Road 1 improvements slated for Spring Valley. A community meeting was held Thursday, April 3, for residents whose properties will be affected by the upcoming project.

The commissioners approved payment of the 2014 appropriation of $5,000 to Bluff Country Housing and Redevelopment Authority.

A gambling permit for the Preston Area Chamber of Commerce was approved. The organization will be hosting a raffle at the Preston Golf Club.

The county board members approved a request to close streets in Preston for Trout Days - including County 12 from Houston Street to St. Anthony Street from 6 to 8 a.m. and County 17 from Highway 52 to River Street from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 17, and County 17 from Main Street to River Street from 4 p.m. May 17 to 2 a.m. Sunday, May 18. It also approved use of the courthouse parking lots from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. during Trout Days.

The board also approved closure of County Road 21 in Canton for the Canton Day Off Celebration on Saturday, Aug. 16, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.