County board passes lease, accepts purchase, amends hazardous waste drop-off days

Sean Ellertson
St. James Plaindealer

At Tuesday’s Watonwan County Board meeting, the board passed an amended lease for the Watonwan County Fairgrounds, accepted a purchase from the DNR, and discussed household hazardous waste dropoff days.

The first item of business for the Watonwan County Board was a fairground lease for the National Micro-Mini Tractor Pullers Association (NMMTPA) super pull, scheduled to take place at the fairgrounds. 

The county charges the NMMTPA $85 for insurance, and $100 a day for the two-day event which features three pulls. 

Ed Connell with the NMMTPA requested that the board waive the daily fee for one of the days. The last time the NMMTPA super pull was held at the fairgrounds was five years ago, and the board and the NMMTPA agreed to the same terms in 2016.

The pull is scheduled for March 19th and 20th.

The next order of business for the board was a DNR acquisition in Antrim Township. The parcel is 160 acres, with 40 acres of existing wetland, 39 acres of expired CRP, seven acres of expired RIM, ten acres of existing native prairie, and 50 acres of cropland. The area would join the Perch Creek State Wildlife Management Area that currently is in Martin County.

The annual Payment-in-Lieu-of-Taxes paid to the county would be $3,900. The payment is based on a formula, which will be reassessed in 2022.

Following the approval of the DNR acquisition resolution, Kyla Schlomann, Solid Waste Program Manager, brought concerns over hazardous household waste dropoffs, and the lines they create.

"Our thought is that if we do the paint once a month, we're not going to have as big of a line, even on those paint days."

Schlomann proposed holding a day to dropoff paint and chemicals on the first Wednesday of every month from 3:00-6:00 p.m. April-October to try and cut down on lines on days where other items–such as appliances and tires.

The final order of business for the board was discussion with Chad Hildebrand, Soil & Water Conservation District Assistant Manager & County Ditch Inspector, about a parcel of land that may be used for wetland banking if the county cannot find a buyer for the parcel.

The next Watonwan County Board meeting is scheduled for February 16 at 9:00 a.m.

Other items:

- Bills: General: $68,153.42: Road and bridge: $74,733.15

-County Veterans Service Office Operational Enhancement Grant

- David Haler 2021 Authorization to Sign Land Management Grant Reports

- Tobacco Licenses- Butterfield Municipal Liquor, Village Inn, Darfur Lounge

- 2021 Legal Newspaper- Madelia Times Messenger

- Training Request—Jared Bergeman- OSHA CPR Training- $35

- 2021 Pay Equity Report

- Watonwan County Food Shelf request of $2,600 pallet door

- Approve quote for the purchase of a John Deere 1550 TerrainCut Commercial Front Mower and Side Discharge Mower for $12,392.46

- Approve quote for the purchase of new Mack Truck from Nuss Truck & Equipment for $207,174.00


- Satisfactory completion of probationary period by Andrea Wellnitz

- Step increases: Deb Grote, Ross Henderson, Bob Moll, Caleb Curry, Dan Sandberg, Shirley Coleman

- Land Management start recruiting for a summer intern

- Resignation from Carolyn Runke assistant branch library in Madelia—accept in good standing and advertise for a replacement