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Commissioners hold 2018 organizational meeting

Jan 05, 2018 06:55AM ● Published by Editor

By Brian Larsen from the Cook County News Herald - January 5, 2018

On Tuesday, January 2 the Cook County Board of Commissioners held their annual organizational meeting, finalizing the levy and divvying up board assignments for each commissioner.

Ginny Storlie was elected board chair for 2018, with Myron Bursheim elected vice chair. Following the election, board chair Jan Sivertson passed the gavel to Storlie, who ran the rest of the meeting.

Commissioners adopted the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) 2018 optional standard mileage rates for car, van, pickup or panel truck at 54.5 cents per mile, up from 53.5 cents per mile in 2017.

Some changes, not many, were made to the various committees each commissioner serves as a first or an alternative to. 

Last year Commissioner Jan Sivertson served on 37 boards or committees, Heidi Doo-Kirk served on 54, Ginny Storlie 39, Myron Bursheim about 50 and Bobby Deschampe, who was newly elected in a special election, served on nine. Some committees meet monthly, some meet quarterly, some even less, but all in all, each commissioner has a plateful of committee meetings to attend. 

The commissioners passed the Non-County Levy Resolution agreeing that the county would collect and disburse the following levies payable in 2018: . The City of Grand Marais 2017 levy was $909,994 with the 2018 levy set at $933,672. . Town of Schroeder’s 2017 levy was $50,000 with the 2018 levy set at $55,000. . The Town of Tofte’s levy fell from the 2017 collection of $236,497 to $212,872 for 2018. . Likewise, the Town of Lutsen’s levy fell from a 2017 mark of $166,896 to $103,573 for 2018. 

Commissioners also set the following fire levies:

Maple Hill’s 2017 levy of $71,000 increased to $73,640 in 2018. 

. Hovland’s fire levy increased from $79,000 to $80,000 in 2018. 

. Grand Marais Extension’s 2017 levy was $47,902 and fell to $44,831 in 2018. 

. Lutsen Fire levied $33,299 in 2017 and will levy almost $10,000 less in 2018, dropping it to $23,752. 

. Gunflint Trail will levy $80,000 in 2018, the same as it did in 2017. 

. Colvill’s levy of $40,000 stays the same this year as it was last year. 

The total for the fire districts in 2018 is $344,233, down from the 2017 total of $353,201. 

Special taxing districts

. The Arrowhead Regional Development Commission received $29,202 in 2017 and will get $29,210 in 2018. 

. The Cook County/Grand Marais Economic Development Authority received $386,290, and its levy for 2018 is $335,290. 

. The Cook County Hospital District set its levy at $800,000, which has remained the same for the last half dozen years. 

The total for the special taxing districts for 2018 is $1,164,500, which is less than the 2017 total of $1,215,492. 

. The levy for Independent School District 166 in 2017 was $1,742,873, in 2018 it is $1,723,668. 

Commissioners approved the 2018 operating levy of $9,236,751, with expenditures of $24,554,488 and revenues of $15,536,952. 

Commissioner Bobby Deschampe was appointed to the Northeast Minnesota Area Transportation Partnership (NEMNATP). This is a committee that guides how federal transportation money is used in Northeast Minnesota. 

Commissioners adopted the Cook County News-Herald as the 2018 official newspaper of record, Grand Marais State Bank is the county bank depositor and the Cook County website is the official publication of business.

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