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St. James Plaindealer - St. James, MN
  • Watonwan County moves to sever ties with Cottonwood County

  • Watonwan County and Cottonwood County currently share the Watonwan County server for email storage and IS director Greg Walsh’s time as he works to solve both counties technical problems, but all that will change Jan. 1.
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  • Watonwan County and Cottonwood County currently share the Watonwan County server for email storage and IS director Greg Walsh’s time as he works to solve both counties technical problems, but all that will change Jan. 1.
    “Their email is actually starting to become a burden on our servers,” said Walsh. “I’ve tried to get them to limit their emails, but there are individuals in Cottenwood who refuse to listen.”
    Watonwan County gets $793.23 for sharing their server with Cottonwood County.
    Recently, the working situation in Cottonwood County has become difficult for Walsh – and there are signs which indicate that Cottonwood is looking to export their IT needs to Jackson County. However, Walsh states they would like to stick with Watonwan County’s support through 2013 because it is convenient for them.
    Jackson County has hired two new IT members to take care of the added workload of Cottonwood County, who look to be moving in their direction – though they have yet to contact the Watonwan County Board.
    “Sounds like we’re getting a divorce and they’ve already hired an attorney,” said Commissioner Scott Sanders.
    That coupled with Walsh’s general disappointment moved the board to cancel the existing contract as of Jan 1 unanimously.
    “Our employee is more important than anything,” said Commissioner John Baerg.
    With all commissioners present, the Watonwan County Board also met with Ed Connell to discuss the rental of a fairgrounds building.
    Connell hoped to rent the roller rink Nov. 19 and 20 for a remote mini tractor pull. About 26 participants would engage in the tractor pull and it is a not for profit event.
    Usual rental rates are $150 with a $2 million insurance policy with Watonwan County listed as an additional insurer.
    The commissioners agreed to lower the rate to $25 for rental of the property, pursuant that Connell would list their name in the insurance policy – a cost of $100 to the MMMTPA.
    Public Works Director Roger Risser updated the commission on the projects of the Public Works Department.
    Risser commented it was a good month for county vehicles since expenses dipped below $1,000.
    Risser then listed the two bids for the rental of a tar kettle. Bids were received from Bargen Incorporated at $3,415.73 for 80 hours and Brock White at $3,740.63 for 80 hours. Commissioners approved the bid by Bargen Incorporated.
    Commissioners then looked at bids for crack sealing material. Bids were received from Bargen Incorporated at $11,952.90 for 16,000 lbs., and Brock White at $11,286.00 for 16,000 lbs. The commissioners decided unanimously to accept Bargen Incorporated’s bid.
    “A consistent product and flexibility justifies the difference,” said Commissioner Sanders.
    A notice of hearing on sale of state land was issued and will be held by the Department of Natural Resources at the Watonwan County Human Services Building, in the community room in St. James, Nov. 27 at 11 a.m. The purpose of the hearing is for public input regarding the sale of 99.75 acres of state land situated in Watonwan County.
    Page 2 of 2 - Risser then updated the commission on the Watline Trail expenses. As reported, the Watline Trail is coming in about $500,000 over budget. The current plan extends the original two stage plan to a three stage plan, in the hopes that the final stage can be partially funded by MNdot. The Watonwan County Board unanimously decided to move forward with the plan as it currently stands.
    Environmental Services Officer Bruce Johnson issued the annual request for signatures. The agreement brought to the commissioners is the same agreement that has been instated in the past. The motion to authorize the chairperson to sign the agreement was passed unanimously without much discussion.
    All minutes and training requests were passed unanimously at the Nov. 6 meeting.
    The Watonwan County Commissioners wanted to thank Steve Laingen and Sara Carlson as they retire, for their years of invaluable service to Watonwan County.
    Laingen’s position at the Watonwan County Highway Department will be taken over by the County Supervisor with compensation at $40 per day, until the position can be filled.
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