Commissioners approve access easement for DNR

Gretchen Mensink Lovejoy

Fillmore County commissioners held a lengthy meeting last Tuesday, Sept. 3 – that Bluff Country News was unable to attend but obtained final draft minutes — during which Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Lanesboro Area Fisheries Supervisor Ron Benjamin sat before the commissioners. He presented a Reinvest in Minnesota (RIM) easement resolution meant to handle access permission to a portion of land. 

The commissioners heard the proposal, after which Commissioner Marc Prestby made a motion to adopt the easement resolution from the DNR, followed by a second from Commissioner Randy Dahl. 

The Camp Creek easement, including walk-in access, was approved 4-1, with Commissioner Mitch Lentz voting against. 

Emergency Management Coordinator Don Kullot registered a request for state disaster assistance for a flooding event that occurred in July. Dahl and Lentz made motions to accept the application for state disaster aid, and the rest of the board concurred with their votes. 

Next, Veterans Service Officer (VSO) Jason Marquardt brought forward a request for an office support specialist, Heather Barth, to attend the Minnesota Secretary Conference in Alexandria this fall, another request to accept the 2020 VSO/Minnesota Department of Veterans’ Affairs grant for $10,000, and his proposed 2020 budget. The conference request and the grant were both accepted. 

Highway Engineer Ron Gregg sought approval of a final payment for the bridge replacement project being done on County State Aid Highway (CSAH) 1 south of Ostrander, as well as a grant agreement for bridge bonding funds for a bridge replacement on CSAH 12. He also asked for passage of a resolution agreeing with the terms and conditions of the grant agreement, and the purchase of a portable truck lift system from Gray Manufacturing for the Preston mechanic’s shop at a cost of $42,177 for which the board gave its nod. 

Gregg and Highway and Airport Manager Pam Schroeder also outlined proposed 2020 budgets for the highway department and the airport.  A road tour of Fillmore County’s highways will be held in October.       

County Coordinator Bobbie Vickerman had numerous 2020 departmental budgets for the board’s consideration – the district court, GIS, county farm and other general budgets, including the medical examiner, corrections, historical society, county library fund, Memorial Day services, Extension and county fair board.

She also asked approval to advertise for a replacement full-time dispatcher and initiated discussion regarding the Association of Minnesota Counties (AMC) policy committee conference that she and Lentz will attend. The board unanimously allowed for advertisement for a replacement dispatcher.     

Additionally, Finance Director Lori Affeldt, Sheriff John DeGeorge and Feedlot Officer Mike Frauenkron presented their departments’ 2020 budgets.

Finally, Auditor-treasurer Heidi Jones had five budgets to highlight – the law library, auditor-treasurer, accounting services, data recording and elections – but was unable to attend the meeting.