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July 18 Board of Commissioners Meeting Highlights

Jul 18, 2017 11:46AM ● By Editor

July 18 Board of Commissioners Meeting Highlights

 July 18, 2017 – Following are highlights and key priorities covered at the Tuesday, July 18 Board of Commissioners Meeting:

Cook County Welcomes Presentation of Grand Portage Flag
During today’s Board of Commissioners Meeting, Commissioner Bobby Deschampe presented the Board with a Grand Portage Flag as a permanent addition to the Commissioners’ Room. The presentation was accompanied by the performance of the traditional Flag and Honor Songs performed by the Stone Bridge Singers drum group of Grand Portage.

“It is an honor to add the Grand Portage flag to the County Courthouse,” said Commissioner Deschampe. “This is something that is long overdue and recognizes the cultural significance and contributions of the Grand Portage Band to Cook County.”

Lutsen Rental Houseing Project Update
Scott Harrison EDA Treasurer and Mary Somnis EDA Director gave an update of the Lutsen Rental Housing project. Costs from Dynamic Homes were higher than expected for the housing units and there are a couple of sources identified in the funding plan that need additional time to confirm including additional dollars from DEED, IRRRB and GMHF. As a result, the pre-paid tax abatement bond sale scheduled for July 17, 2017, has been postponed until further notice. Permitting for the project has been approved by the Cook County Planning Commission and will be brought to the Board for approval soon. The plan is to move forward with the project and issue the bonds in the spring of 2018.

Professional Engineering Oversight Until Permanent Position Filled
Cook County has entered into a short-term contract with Lake County for engineering oversight in the absence of a County Highway Engineer for major infrastructure projects underway. Work to begin the recruitment process for a permanent County Highway Engineer is already underway. 

“To keep momentum going and to ensure public works projects meet regulated engineering requirements as Cook County finds its new Highway Engineer, we’ve reached out to our neighbors in Lake County and identified a solution to carry us through during this transition,” said Jeff Cadwell, County Administrator. “With this contract in place through October, we don’t anticipate any disruption to planned infrastructure work.”

Update of County's All Hazard Mitigation Plan
Director of Emergency Management & Public Information Valerie Marasco sought a resolution of the Board to engage in a Hazard Mitigation Planning Grant Application with Minnesota Homeland Security & Emergency Management. Counties are required to have FEMA & State approved Hazard Mitigation Plans to qualify for additional disaster relief funding. The Office of Emergency Management & Public Information will work with the University of Minnesota Duluth's Geospatial Analysis Center over the next 18 months to update Cook County's All Hazard Mitigation Plan. The process will include public engagement.

Administrator Updates
Administrator Cadwell gave an update on the Search Committee for the Engineering vacancy. Commissioner Deschampe, Commissioner Bursheim, Cadwell and John McDonald, MnDOT District 1 State Aid Engineer will meet Thursday to discuss plans and timelines for the search process.

Administrator Cadwell also gave an update on the Compensation Study process indicating that the work of the Review Committee including Judy Hill, Jeff Cadwell, Rena Rogers, Molly Hicken and Diane Booth is progressing and should be completed soon. After that, discussions can resume with employee groups regarding the implementation of the 2016 Class/Comp Study.

Contact: Jeff Cadwell, Cook County Administrator, 218-387-3687 or [email protected]

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