Several members of the Money Creek Township board met with county commissioners on March 27. The topic was whether or not the county should reconsider their recent decision to prohibit the use of golf carts on CSAH 26 between Money Creek Haven Campground and the village of Money Creek.

County Engineer Brian Pogodzinski repeated his position that golf carts are unsafe on the roadway, stating, "The primary concern with allowing golf carts out there is that the existing pavement is 11 ft. paved lanes with essentially no gravel shoulder at all. Current design standards out there would include 12 ft. paved lanes and 4 ft. shoulders.

"We're about 10 feet too narrow on design standards, just to meet the minimum state aid standards for a roadway of that volume.

"If you want to allow golf carts on that roadway, I would recommend that when it's repaved that you not only add wider shoulders but to pave the shoulders so that golf carts can get totally off the roadway."

The repaving of CSAH 26 "is not on the list right now," Pogodzinski said, adding that the project might not happen for 5-10 years.

"We were kind of led to believe that the county was OK with this," Dale Omodt of the township board said.

"There's never been any accidents or issues with golf carts," township supervisor Wayne Meyer added.

"It comes back to safety," Pogodzinski said. "Over 60 percent of fatalities happen in rural areas."

The issue didn't come to a vote.

"I personally think it's a public safety issue that we should not reverse our decision on," Commissioner Teresa Walter said.

Commissioners Dana Kjome and Steve Schuldt concurred.

Personnel items

On the recommendation of Personnel Director Tess Kruger, the board voted to add one member from each county employee bargaining union to the Insurance Committee. Ongoing changes related to the Affordable Care Act will need to be discussed, she added.

A second vote added a total of $1,005 to the $7,500 fee that Springsted Incorporated charged to compile an organizational review of the county's Human Services Department.

Kruger explained that the company had additional time, travel costs and expenses related to extra meetings with county staff.

Commissioners approved assigning regular status to two probationary employees who will soon qualify.

Human Services Financial Fiscal Officer Heidi Hankins and Jailer/Dispatcher Matt Mackie are both nearing the end of their initial (probationary) time frame.

The board also approved an unpaid leave of absence for Environmental Services Clerk Julie Amundson.

CEDA to replace EDA director

The board voted to hire CEDA (Community and Economic Development Associates) to take up the slack when EDA Coordinator Jordan Wilms leaves on April 5 to accept another job offer.

Kruger said that some of Wilms' duties have been assigned to others, and that E911/GIS Coordinator Dan Krzoska will represent the county on three "trails" subcommittees.

The one-year contract includes 14 CEDA staff hours per week at a cost of $33,300. The motion to approve the pact was conditioned upon the approval of the county attorney.

Commissioners noted that the move may be temporary, since they always have the option of hiring another full-time employee.

Kruger said that the maximum contact allowed by union agreements is 14 hours per week.

Public Health reports, 2012

Members of the county's Public Health/Nursing Department presented an annual report.

There were 331 child health visits by staff members. Eighty-one persons received education on child safety car seats. The "Infant Follow Along" program served 192 children, identifying potential developmental problems.

The WIC nutritional program served 280 participants. In addition, 50 children were seen by nurses for fluoride varnish application at a WIC clinic. They were also given preventative education and dental referrals.

In the Home Health Care (HHC) programs, 1,611 HHC nursing visits were made. Case management visits (setting up safe care plans) numbered 732. Home Health Aide visits totaled 7,275. Therapy services made 459 visits. There were 189 long-term care assessments, and 37 personal care attendant services assessments.

Vaccinations numbered 833. Two latent tuberculosis cases were seen for monthly medication monitoring.

Environmental health programs worked with schools on nutrition and exercise. Preconception health programs served women ages 15-44. Bullying prevention, traffic safety efforts and low-cost radon kits were also part of the environmental health services.