Commissioners approve road resurfacing projects, restructuring of several departments

By : 
Gretchen Mensink Lovejoy
Bluff Country Newspaper Group

Housekeeping was the order of the day during the Tuesday, Feb. 5, Fillmore County commissioners meeting. 

Highway Engineer Ron Gregg sought permission to buy a 2019 tandem truck and snowplow equipment from the state bid contract. He also had in hand a resolution for Local Road Improvement Program (LRIP) funds to be used for resurfacing County State Aid Highway (CSAH) 30 leading to Niagara Cave, and wanted to advertise for a bridge replacement project on CSAH 4 west of Washington. 

Decisions were made to proceed with the purchase of a 2019 Mack AF Granite 64FR for $128,573 from Nuss Truck and Equipment after trading in the county’s 2007 Freightliner, as well as the purchase of a muni body and equipment from Universal Truck & Equipment for $121,225. 

The commissioners also granted their nod for the CSAH 30 project and the CSAH 4 Washington bridge replacement.       

Human Resources Officer Kristina Kohn had a longer list of items for the Board’s consideration, beginning with a request to hire a land records director effective this past Wednesday, Feb. 6. Brian Hoff was chosen as the county’s new land records director, and the county will advertise for a property appraiser to fill the position he has vacated. 

 The Board also accepted the resignation of Highway Engineering Supervisor Darrell Schmitt, effective Friday, Feb. 1.

There was a discussion held regarding the transition of certain functions from the auditor-treasurer’s office to the coordinator’s office. The Board also approved a request to promote account tech Carrie Huffman to account tech lead effective this past Tuesday, Feb. 5. There was also a discussion about the transfer of account technician Karla Franzen from land records to the auditor-treasurer’s office. Ultimately, Franzen was transferred from the land records office to the auditor-treasurer’s office.

The Board also conversed about classifications appeals for compensation and classification study, and addressed updated job descriptions. Board members approved the final job descriptions provided for the compensation study that has come about.       

Other business involved rescinding the motion that accepted Lori Affeldt’s resignation, as it was determined that she would continue to manage payroll, some audit tasks and other duties.

Auditor-treasurer Heidi Jones brought forward the amended Fillmore County abatement policy that has been updated to reflect two statutes, 357.192 and 279.01, and the policy will be further reviewed at a future meeting.  She also presented the 2019 fee schedule, which the commissioners approved, advising department heads to be certain they get any other fees not on the list to Jones and her staff.   

Director of Nursing Jessica Erickson shared with the Board that the medical consultant contract she had would be a no-fee contract with Dr. Stephanie Jakim — at Jakim’s request — as it has been for several years. The Board expressed its gratitude to Jakim for her services and generosity.

Additionally, Social Services Manager Kevin Olson requested approval of a service agreement with consultant Mary Klinghaven for claims training — not to exceed $4,300.

Zoning Administrator Cristal Adkins asked for the Board’s approval to close out her department’s 2018 grants, which it granted.

Sheriff John DeGeorge came to the meeting with a purchase bid for the jail’s overhead garage door from Thompson’s Garage Door and Openers at a low bid of $2,270, which was approved.

Additionally, Solid Waste Administrator Andrew Hatzenbihler shared the second reading of the changes to the Resource Recovery Center’s credit and operating policy, and the Board approved the policy changes.      

The meeting was closed for labor negotiations and review of a compensation study, pursuant to M.S. 13D.03. The compensation study will be on a Board agenda in coming weeks.   

The administrative items on the agenda encompassed how to make use of or transfer old office supplies and furnishings. 

Coordinator Bobbie Vickerman expressed her appreciation to the county’s highway maintenance staff and the building maintenance staff for all their hard work keeping the roads and sidewalks clear this winter.