July 13, 2017 – Following are highlights and key priorities covered at the Tuesday, July 11 Board of Commissioners Meeting:
Highway Engineer Resignation
Administrator Cadwell presented the Board with the resignation of Highway Engineer David Betts submitted on July 3, citing other employment as the reason for the resignation. Board Chair Sivertson, Vice Chair Doo-Kirk and Cadwell discussed the resignation and decided to accept the resignation effective July 6, citing the best interests of both the County and Betts.
Road Project Contracts
The Board approved three contracts submitted by engineer Betts as continuation of projects already programmed, including wetlands delineation for work on CSAH 12 at County Road 92 and a contract to begin right-of-way acquisitions related to the County Road 45 project currently being designed.
Rowan Watkins, Radio Communications Analyst and Rena Rogers, Director – MIS, presented tower contracts for cellular service which will improve access in Grand Portage and Lutsen and add to the annual revenue stream that the County towers provide. The Board approved these contracts and agreed that this revenue should be directed towards the immediate and future capital needs of County tower facilities.
Positive Energy Outdoors at Pike Lake Application
The Board affirmed the Planning Commission’s denial of a CUP for Positive Energy Outdoors’ application to provide water-based recreational activities from a property on Pike Lake citing unsuitability of the property and size of the property to support the requested purpose.
YMCA Budget Update
Auditor Braidy Powers gave a YMCA budget update indicating that this is a first update of the expenses related to the YMCA since the change in the financial arrangement between the County and the YMCA.
Visit Cook County Sales Tax Proceed Report
Linda Jurek and Katie Krantz from Visit Cook County gave an update of the use of sales tax proceeds for Visit Cook County. They also recapped a few recent events and discussed he process of working with the local tourism boards to allocate funds in support of events held throughout the County. A dashboard is prepared after each event that receives support from VCC to measure and report the impact of the use of funds.
Community Center Expansion Study
Community Center/University of MN Extension Director Diane Booth, Administrator Cadwell and PHHS Director Josh Beck have been reviewing options to address the shortage of childcare facilities in Cook County and have discussed proposed improvements to the Community Center as one possibility to address this issue. Booth presented a proposal from the Meyer Group to work with County Staff and the public to develop plans and cost estimates for an expansion. The proposed project would add space to the current Community Center facility and would address facility maintenance and mechanical needs of the 24-year-old building. The Board approved funding the study out of the Building Fund for an estimated cost of $14,560.
Legislative Summary from Representative Ecklund
Minnesota District 3a Representative Rob Ecklund was provided a summary of the recent Legislative Session. Ecklund talked about the difficulty of the session, but outlined several positive policy outcomes for cities and counties, and projects in NE Minnesota.
Full details of Board Meetings are available through video footage, Agendas and Minutes at
Contact: Jeff Cadwell, Cook County Administrator, 218-387-3687 or firstname.lastname@example.org