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Boreal Community Media

August 15 Board of Commissioners Meeting Highlights

Aug 15, 2017 10:31PM ● By Editor

2018 Proposed Budget Review

The Board reviewed the first draft of the General Fund Department budget summary and reviewed general assumptions and specific department-level considerations. The Board reviewed options to balance the budget over a three-year period and discussed parameters for discretionary funding guidelines. The schedule for public input into the 2018 budget conversation was established setting dates for public Town Hall meetings (schedule following), and a third Thursday Discussion on WTIP radio with Board Chair Jan Sivertson, County Administrator Jeff Cadwell and County Treasurer Braidy Powers on August 24, 7 pm. 

2018 Budget Public Town Hall Meetings*
Mid Trail – Wednesday, Aug 30, 7 pm
West End – Thursday, Aug 31, 7 pm
East End – Thursday, Sept 7, 7 pm
Financial Management Plan Public Meeting in Grand Marais – Monday, Sept 11, 6 pm
Grand Marais – Monday, Sept 11, 7 pm
*Specific locations will be published once facilities are confirmed.

Departmental Budget Review – Public Health & Human Services (PHHS)
Yafa Napadensky, Fiscal Supervisor – PHHS, previewed assumptions for the 2018 PHHS budget that included a combination of changing needs within the community and the staff required to provide these services. The 2018 budget proposal includes the additional costs of two positions (Fiscal Officer and an additional Case Aide) added to the Department in 2017 after the budget was approved and includes increasing staff in 2018 by an additional 1.5FTE (Community Outreach Coordinator and increasing two half-time positions to full-time positions). The proposed budget includes $3,892,303 in expenditures, $1,696,317 in revenues leaving a net cost to the county of $2,195,986 which is an additional levy need of $400,000 for 2018.

County Loan Requests
Current policy limits commercial septic loans to $100,000. Ilena Hansel, District Manager - Soil & Water Conservation District, brought a request for an additional $6,853 to be added to an existing $100,000 loan to cover unanticipated costs encountered during construction of the project.

The Revolving Loan Fund had two items for the Board to consider:

  • A new loan to Odin Jorgenson at Tire and Auto Lodge LLC for $55,000 over 10 years at 1.5%.
  • A prepayment agreement with Higher Education to pay $50,000 on a total amount due of $53,270.78, essentially forgiving $3,270.78 of interest payments while adding $50,000 back into the pool for future loans.

The Board approved all three recommendations.

Conditional Use Permit – Lutsen Workforce Housing Project
Bill Lane, Zoning Administrator, brought a recommendation from the Planning Commission supported by a 5-1 vote to approve the Conditional Use Permit for the Economic Development Authority’s Lutsen Workforce Housing Project. Administrator Lane said that staff directive is to help property owners walk through the required permitting process to develop their property while maintaining standards that protect resource quality and property values. There are still several conditions that need to be met in order to fulfill the permit, including completing wetland mitigation and working with MnDOT on access control to HWY 61.

Administrator Update
The Search Committee to fill the Public Health & Human Services Director vacancy met last week to discuss options for filling the position. A recommendation to conduct an internal search to fill the position was made. An internal posting will be made before the end of this week, and will be open for 10 days. Additional members of may be added to the Search Committee including staff members from the PHHS department. After that point, the Committee will review applications and conduct interviews as appropriate.

Committee of the Whole
Rena Rogers, Director – MIS, reviewed the work to date on the strategic plan initiative started in January 2017. Next steps include scheduling additional employee meetings to review the process to date and to make a recommendation to the Board of a mission statement, vision statement and a plan to develop specific department operational plans. The Communications Committee will be bringing back a proposal to the Board of Commissioners in the near future.

George Wilkes held a conversation with the Board in hopes they would support a resolution in support of a Federal Carbon Fee and Dividend Policy and to consider implementing a county-wide program aimed at reducing carbon footprints in the county.

Full details of Board Meetings are available through video footage, Agendas and Minutes at County Board Meetings are open to the public.


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