Present: John Baerg, Bill Berg, Raymond Gustafson, Mark Rentz and Scott Sanders.
Approved the Agenda as amended.
Approved the minutes of the July 3 regular meeting.
Chairman Sanders appointed Commissioners Berg and Gustafson to serve on the Primary Canvassing Board on August 17 at 9:00, and Commissioners Berg and Rentz to serve on the General Election Canvassing Board on November 9 at 9:00.
Approved per diem and mileage for Board members attending the Minnesota Viewer’s Association meeting on July 26.
The Board reviewed a request from Daniel and Donna Rued to repurchase their tax-forfeited Parcel No. 16.100.930 described as the South ½ of Lots 11 and 12 in Block 13, City of Lewisville. All back taxes and fees will need to be paid.
Approved to grant the repurchase request of Daniel and Donna Rued.
Approved payment of the general credit card bill in the amount of $567.15 and the Sheriff’s when it arrives.
Environmental Services Officer Bruce Johnson was present for review of the Conditional Use Permit Application of Schwartz Farms, Inc. to construct a new feedlot over 700 animal units in the SW½ of NW¼ in Section 27 of Nelson Township. 12 interested persons were present. The permit was recommended for approval by the Planning Commission with the conditions that a tree plan be submitted and implemented, and notification to the church and cemetery board prior to manure application. The site is approximately one mile straight west of East Sveadahl Church. It was questioned whether another parcel could have been chosen. Johnson noted that this was the only one that met all the required setbacks.
Lisa Shellum spoke on behalf of the East Sveadahl Church and questioned if there was evidence that each of the 11 standards of the Ordinance have been met, because they believe it would be injurious to the use and enjoyment of the existing use of the church. She requested that a biofilter system be installed, or that it be relocated at least another half-mile out, and that there is assurance that all of the standards were met. Tom Anderson also spoke from Sveadahl stating that not all things are black and white and asked the Board to weigh the legality versus the morality of the issue. Diane Miller, who lives right next to the church, noted that there are four residences within 3/4 mile of the site. Joann Jensen questioned what good the tree planting at the site would do. Bill Crawford, representing Schwartz Farms, responded that trees increase the mixing and dilution of the odor and also create a visual screen. John Schwartz stated that this site is almost a mile from the church, and only a half-mile is the required setback.
Commissioner Rentz stated that although the proposed site is within the Ordinance, ethics should be considered. Commissioner Berg asked Mr. Schwartz if he would consider looking for a different site. Commissioner Gustafson said Schwartz has an excellent reputation, but that locating so close to the cemetery was of concern. Commissioner Baerg asked that it be moved a little further away. Chairman Sanders noted that he has been on the Planning Commission for many years, and when Watonwan County was sued the Supreme Court complimented the County on the standards of the half-mile setback as adequate distance to address odor and health issues. Other similar uses already exist in the area, and the church currently has a hog facility less than a quarter mile away in the other direction that existed prior to the Ordinance. It was proposed that no pumping or application be done on Sundays, and that the church notify the Schwartz’s within 72 hours of a wedding or funeral to be held there.
Passed 3 to 2, with Berg and Sanders opposed, to deny the Conditional Use Permit requested by Schwartz Farms, Inc.
Public Works Director Roger Risser reviewed the Road and Bridge Cash Flow Chart for April – June 2012.
Approved to accept completed Contract #9822 and approve final payment to Mathiowetz Construction Co. Inc. for SAP 83-598-022 for replacement of the box culvert on CR 126 over Antrim Creek.
Risser presented a refined proposal from Mapformation that included the cost of digital mapping each of the cities in the county. The proposal for the County alone was $1,300.00, plus $350.00 for printing artwork. Adding the cities would total $6,300.00, $1500 of which is for the City of St. James which is proceeding regardless of the County’s participation. The County would have the rights to edit and make updates to the mapping.
Berg moved, Gustafson seconded and the motion passed unanimously, to accept the quote of Mapformation in the amount of $1,650.00 for digital mapping of the County with print-ready artwork.
Risser reported that the County’s GIS Base Map with E-911 designations is now available on the MnDOT website, and is available for download. Mapping vendors only have to download it to update GPS systems.
Approved payment of bills as audited and filed in the County Auditor's Office as follows by fund: General Fund—$136,011.35; Solid Waste Fund—$646.08; Ditch Fund—$3,930.39; and the Road and Bridge Fund—$144,153.37.
Approved to authorize Library Director Cheryl Bjoin to apply for a credit card account for the Library system, and to designate Bjoin and Assistant Director Stacy Lienemann as the approved cardholders, with card payment to come before the full board.
County Auditor Donald Kuhlman reviewed the June financial reports.
Chairman Sanders reported that the MCIT dividend will be similar to 2011’s, and the rates for worker’s compensation and liability will be slightly lowered.
Approved adding a bill from Fairmont Ford for TMT bus repairs to the previously approved bills.
Approved a pay increase upon the satisfactory completion of probationary period by Ronald Kueker.
Approved one step pay increases for Megan Karau and Shari Henson.
It was noted that Glenda Arndt resigned from her Lewisville Branch Manager I position, but will retain her Madelia Branch Assistant position at 20 hours per week.
Approved the appointment of Cheryl Lindell to the position of Branch Library Assistant.
Approved to add the duties of Lewisville Branch Manager I to the position of Cheryl Lindell at approximately 8.5 hours per week.
In discussion of the Sentence to Serve program it was noted that Watonwan County’s sentenced individuals are working on Brown County STS crews, but they will not be performing work in Watonwan County. It was questioned what it would cost to have someone licensed and trained to do the work within the County.
Adjourned at 11:30 A.M.
Scott Sanders, Chairman
Watonwan County Board
Lisa Schumann, Deputy Clerk
Watonwan County Board
ATTEST: Donald Kuhlman
Watonwan County Auditor
Published in the St. James Plaindeeler Aug. 23, 2012.