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St. James Plaindealer - St. James, MN
  • Watonwan County Board adapts to shifting personnel regulations

  • County Recorder Joy Sing brought a proposal to the Watonwan County Board Tuesday, Jan. 8, which would add 12 hours to DeAnn Lenz’s hours per week.

    This is due to the transfer of another employee in the recorder’s office. The restructuring was required to maintain the separation of duties required by the state and recording compliance.
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  • County Recorder Joy Sing brought a proposal to the Watonwan County Board Tuesday, Jan. 8, which would add 12 hours to DeAnn Lenz’s hours per week.
    This is due to the transfer of another employee in the recorder’s office. The restructuring was required to maintain the separation of duties required by the state and recording compliance.
    The recording department has seen an increase in work flow with the recovery of the economy and with this change will be able to continue to accept passport applications.
    “Right now things are picking up again like crazy, the end of the year was nuts,” said Sing. “We had 30 document days and we haven’t had 30 document days in years.”
    Some commissioners questioned whether or not the county could financially afford to add hours for an employee. County Auditor Don Kuhlman crunched the numbers and was able to determine there would be no significant changes to the personnel savings projected through this restructuring.
    “This is about twelve to thirteen thousand dollars savings on restructuring,” said Commissioner Scott Sanders.
    The Watonwan County Board voted to approve the increase in DeAnn Lenz’s hours by 12 hours per week unanimously.
    In a day largely devoted to personnel changes, the board approved the VSO driver pay increase from $70 a day to $80 as was budgeted in the budget meetings held last year.
    “Since it was in the budget and we passed the budget I say we make a motion to increase their pay,” said Sanders.
    Commissioners also ratified all end of the year bill payments, approved the minutes of previous meetings and personnel changes at the Tuesday meeting before speaking with Environmental Services Officer Bruce Johnson.
    Johnson presented to the board a proposal for a conditional use permit. The request was received from Joel Schwartz to construct a Swine Finishing Barn in section 31 of St. James Township.
    The Watonwan County Board approved the permit application on the condition that trees would be added to the site to reduce the unpleasant odor.
    County Assessor Michael Wacker was then presented to the board to take his oath of office. Wacker has worked for the county since 2009 as the county assessor.
    After a short break the Watonwan County Board met with Roger Riser, the public works director, who updated the commissioners on the 2012 authorized work for others within which the public works department participated. Total November expenses were $24,772.12.
    The board was then presented a proposal to advertise for bids on the bridge replacement projects in Watonwan County.
    Some questions were raised by the commissioners about the location of these bridges and the rate at which they become worn.
    Page 2 of 2 - “This road has been notorious over the last decade, and we spend all this money and do whatever, I want to make sure that there is a decent base there,” said Commissioner Mark Rentz.
    Riser explained the process by which the area is tested to ensure that the road will be stable for a manageable period of time.
    The commissioners approved unanimously to advertise for bids on the project.They also approved the request to receive bids for the annual supply of diesel and unleaded fuel the county receives.
    The meeting closed with the review of judicial ditch 13 renovations which will create an open ditch along Highway 60 for drainage – with aid from MNDOT.
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