With the primary elections coming up, Watonwan County Board approved the payment of two new OmniBallot tablets.

The two ballots, plus prices for training, shipping, and other equipment comes to a cost of $8,669.90 with 50% reimbursement.

The county has four election day precincts— Madelia, St. James has two, and South Branch township. One of St. James' precincts is within the courthouse for mail ballots.

"It's very labor-intensive for those small townships to get people willing do the training and the public accuracy testing not to mention the actual election day," said Kelly Pauling, in referring to the work done by those in the township.

The new ballots will replace old ballots that are more than two decades old. 

The board also approved the application of the repurchase of tax-forfeited land from Scott and Jean Martin.

The Martin's fell behind on taxes but recently presented the county with a check worth $27.326.66 to pay off the taxes.

"It's up to the county board to make the final decision to approve or disapprove the written request," said Pauling. "The county board must determine that the repurchase will best serve public interests."

The property was in the hands of the state, but the lot had not been sold yet, so the lot was still available for repurchase.

The board heard from Bill Coleman, Assistant Public Works County Engineer on approval of advertising for summer workers. Workers are typically hired for three months. The board also approved advertising for 2020 seasonal supplies.

Also discussed was the work on county bridges. 

Other approved items:

Accept annual $100 donation from Schwartz Farms

Approve training requests for Kelly Pauling and Lisa Schumann

Step increases for Shirley Coleman and Melissa Cornelius 

Approve new appraiser trainee advertisement