POLK COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS APPROVE HERBICIDE TREATMENT IN UNION LAKE

The Polk County Board of Commissioners met on Tuesday inside the Polk County Government Center. The Board heard from Assistant Environmental Services Administrator Jacob Snyder for an Aquatic Invasive Species Project Request and a Resolution Interim Permit for Knife River Materials. They also heard from Property Records Director Michelle Cote on a resolution to approve an application by Todd Ranz for Repurchase of Forfeited Lands in the Townsite of Fertile and an application to approve the Annual Liquor License for LakeView Resort, Inc., Snow Sled Bar and Grill/Deonne Maygra, and One N’ Only of Euclid, Inc. as well as County Administrator Chuck Whiting, who came forward with a Contractor Request from Diversified Contractors about the Red River Juvenile Detention Facility and to fill two positions at the Polk County Landfill Complex. They also heard from Social Services Director Karen Warmack and Finance Director Ron Denison.

CONSENT ITEMS

The Board opened the meeting by first approving the Commissioner Warrants and Sign Audit List and approving a payment to the US Bank in St. Louis, MO, in the amount of $78,869.18 for procurement card purchases. They also approved a payment to Anders Valley Publishing, LLC Twin Valley Times/Fertile Journal, Twin Valley, in the amount of $33.09 for publishing fees for the Polk County Attorney’s Office. The final items on the Consent Agenda were to approve a payment to American Security Cabinets in Rogers, MN, in the amount of $2,041 for an Outdoor Ballot Box for Elections/TPSC and to approve a payment to the Tri-County Community Corrections Center using American Rescue Plan (ARPA) Funds for Revenue Losses.

The Board approved all motions unanimously.

SOCIAL SERVICES

The Board then heard from Social Services Director Karen Warmack, who requested the Board to approve a new series of Special Needs Basic Care and Senior Procurement, which is done routinely every five years to review and evaluate proposals to provide managed health care services for Polk County provided by the DHS. She recommended UCARE, Medica, Blue Plus, and United Healthcare after they had submitted their proposals. She then requested the Board to approve of a refill a Social Worker-Child Protection Specialist (CPS) Position and any internal subsequent position vacancies occurring because of this action. Her last item for the Board was to approve an amendment to their original contract with DEED to increase the budget by a gifted $6,625 to the existing amount of $9,272 for a total of $15,897 to allow for additional Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) employment and training programs.

The Board approved all motions unanimously.

PLANNING AND ZONING

The Board then heard from Assistant Environmental Services Administrator Jacob Snyder, with Union Lake Sarah Improvement District (ULSID) Board members Lonnie Parodies and Shane Johnson, who came forward to request to the Board that the ULSID had applied for funding from the Polk County Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Taskforce to apply herbicide to treat Curly-leaf Pondweed in Union Lake and budgeted $15,000 to be spent on it and other projects in 2022. “The trouble with Curly-leaf Pondweed is that it’ll grow under ice depending on how much sunlight. Even if it gets little to no sunlight, it can basically become cornstalks all over the lake in the shallower bays,” Assistant Administrator Jacob Snyder explained. “So, we had a proposal to spray that stuff quick in the season because you don’t want to attack it in July or August. You’re trying to attack it while it’s actively growing because Curly-leaf Pondweed will actually grow quickly in the spring. Obviously, it can grow in really low-temperature water if it can grow under ice, so then it dies off in July, so the target window to effectively treat it is soon,” he added. The ULSID plans to use the certified chemical applicator Lakes Restoration to treat Union Lake for a total cost of $29,160. They then explained that they would also work with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to complete another survey later in the summer to learn the effectiveness of the treatment and get a permit proposal to let them treat public water. Snyder was then joined by Knife River Materials Environmental Safety Coordinator Steff Basgaard, who requested an Interim Use Permit (IUP) for Knife River Materials to operate a temporary hot-mix asphalt batch-plant and contractor yard for five years to mine aggregate for their asphalt mix in the General Agricultural District in Section 27 of Liberty Township. Where they will complete roadwork for two 160-acre parcels (#48.00143.00 and 49.00144.00).

The Board approved the motions unanimously.

FINANCE

Finance Director Ron Denison then approached the Board to approve the authority to sign expense claim vouchers for payments granted to Department Heads for their respective approved departmental budgets by County Policy. In addition, it will help Department Heads have pre-approved backup signers on record so that payments can continue to be processed when the Department Head is not available to sign the request. He then requested for the Board to pass a motion to approve Arla Meyer and himself as designated Electronic Funds Transfers (EFT) initiators for Polk County to initiate EFTs with County funds. His final item for the Board was for the Board to consider a motion to ratify the Minnesota Counties Computer Cooperative (MnCCC) to take action to ratify a three-year agreement with TriMin Systems for IFSpi software programming and support.

The Board approved both motions unanimously.

PROPERTY RECORDS

The Board then heard from Property Director Michelle Cote on a resolution to approve an application by Todd Ranz on behalf of Lorraine C. Brunsberg et al Life Estate for Repurchase of Forfeited Lands for parcel 85.00072.00 (the South half of Lot 9, 10, and all of Lot 11, in Block 2), in the Townsite of Fertile. She then came forward with an application to approve the Annual Liquor License for LakeView Resort, Inc., Snow Sled Bar and Grill/Deonne Maygra, and One N’ Only of Euclid, Inc. “This is the time of the year where we work with all of our organizations that have liquor licenses, and because they’re outside of the municipality, they have to apply to the County for their annual liquor license,” Property Director Michelle Cote explained. “They have done everything that they need to do, they have been approved by the County Attorney and the Sheriff, so they landed in front of the Board for final approval. We would then send them off to the State for their Stamp of Approval, and they will be licensed to serve liquor for another year,” she added.

The Board approved all motions unanimously.

CHUCK WHITING-ADMINISTRATION

The Board ended the meeting hearing from County Administrator Chuck Whiting, who first came forward with Diversified Contractors, Inc. President Bill Bordeur to request a cost-share adjustment for a chiller unit in the Red River Juvenile Detention facility that was left out of the proposal due to some confusion between the sub-contractors for $60,000. Diversified Contractors President Bill Bordeur requested the County to pick up one-third of the chiller cost at $19,890, with the other 2/3s of the cost being covered by the mechanical contractors. However, the Board denied the request unanimously, saying that the County had already paid the bid and wasn’t paying for any additions to the bid since they didn’t make the mistake. “They debated it, but they have had this question come up before in larger amounts with smaller contracts and have said, “The bid is the bid,” and I think from the Board’s perspective, they’re looking at it from the taxpayer’s point of view, and the County didn’t do anything other than accept the bid,” County Administrator Chuck Whiting explained. “Mistakes happen, but it isn’t something that the County did. But they have a right to come in and make the request, and we put them on the Agenda so they could do that,” he added.

County Administrator Chuck Whiting then approached the Board to request an approval to begin advertisement for a Landfill Supervisor and Landfill Operator position at the Polk County Landfill after Supervisor Jay Rhone submitted his formal retirement notice for July 29. He reported that the Landfill plans to fill in the position internally with one of the Operators but has yet to decide who that will be. The Board approved the motion unanimously.

The next meeting will take place on Tuesday, May 24, at 8:00 am., inside the Polk County Government Center.