The Polk County Commissioners will reconvene in person on Tuesday, July 7 at 8 a.m. following several months of teleconference meetings due to COVID-19.  However, the Commissioners will not meet in their regular location at the Polk County Government Center. Instead, they will temporarily move meetings to the Polk County Transfer Station.

Gary Willhite, chair of the board, said meetings will be held at the Transfer Station for the short-term because the new conference room provides for more spacing to satisfy COVID-19 guidelines. “It’s most likely short-term,” said Willhite. “But we’re meeting there on the seventh, and I’m guessing they’ll be conversations too on opening up the Government Center. It’s just a little bit larger room. The remodeling of the Transfer Station they’ve added a conference room and it’s fairly spacious so individuals can spread out during this COVID situation and social distancing. I suspect it’s short-term and hopefully, the Government Center will be open and we’ll be meeting up there very, very soon.”

Masks are required at the Transfer Station for anyone going inside, and Willhite said there should be ample parking space between the lot on the west side of the building and overflow parking on Foskett Street. “I think most folks are familiar with dropping things off at the Transfer Station whether it’s shrubs, or appliances, or general garbage,” said Willhite. “But, it’s a great opportunity to come out and see the remodeling too. But, right, there is a requirement to wear a mask. You go just right inside the main door. There is plenty of parking inside the lot. Overflow parking you can park on the street right there on Foskett St. But, it’s right inside the door. You’ll check-in, easy to find, plenty of room. Certainly, much more space then we have at the Government Center. So, come on out and attend a Commissioner’s meeting.”  

The Commissioners will review two conditional use permit requests from Curtis Block for a self-storage business in Godfrey Township and from Brian LaPlante for a commercial bakery in Lowell Township. They will also review Polk County Public Health agreements with Fisher, Climax-Shelly, Win-E-Mac, Cathedral, Our Savior’s Lutheran, and Crookston Schools.

The Commissioners will also award a bid for work on County Road 210, consider a survey equipment purchase, approve advertising for a Highway Maintenance position, and review the wheelage and local options sales tax for 2021 in the Highway Department.  The Commissioners will also have a resolution noting the retirement of William Pahlen from the Highway Department.

Also on the agenda is a haulers license for solid waste for RJ Zavoral & Sons, and a continued discussion on the solid waste fee schedule for 2021 from the Environmental Services Department. The board will also review tax abatement requests from Happy Joes Pizza and Ice Cream, and IC Muggs, both in Crookston, and changes between Social Services and the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development Joint Powers agreement for 2020.

The Board will also consider updates to the primary and general election canvassing dates for 2020, a quote for an additional three workstations to be added in the Taxpayer Service Center, a review of the $3,985,249 the county received in CARES ACT funding, and a review of the preliminary 2021 Board of Commissioner’s budget. The last two items are a tentative agreement with the AFSCME Social Workers Unit, and 2020 voting credentials and delegates for the National Association of Counties.