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Boreal Community Media

December 12 Board of Commissioners Meeting Highlights

Dec 12, 2017 03:57PM ● By Editor

December 12 Board of Commissioners Meeting Highlights

December 12, 2017 – Following are highlights and key priorities covered at the Tuesday, Dec.12 Board of Commissioners Meeting:

Public Comment Period

Several speakers, both for and against the proposed budget and levy increase, and the work done by the Commissioners, spoke during Public Comment Period.

Consent Agenda

All items on the consent agenda were approved.

Pictometry Project

MIS Director Rena Rogers and GIS Analyst Kyle Oberg provided information on the Pictometry Contract and Partnership Agreements for 2018. The Board voted to approve the expenditures as presented. Pictometry is the name of a patented aerial image capture process used toacquire high resolution aerial photography for GIS and map data, and is the name of the service. Cook County, in partnership with other cost-sharing partners including USFS, Grand Portage, the City of Grand Marais, Arrowhead Electric Cooperative Inc., and others, is contracting with Pictometry (an EagleView Company) to have the aerial image database used in a number of county services and programs that relies on GIS and map data, updated in the spring. Having accurate map and GIS data is critical for many services that the County provides impacting nearly every department. Having accurate data reduces costly fieldwork and provides more accurate results.

Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS)

AIS Coordinator Amanda Weberg gave a program and service summary for the year.

Commissioner Salaries and Per Diem

Discussion around adjusting Commissioner salary and per diems to be consistent with what employees will be receiving took place. The decision was made to stay with the 2017 salary of $22,394 per year, with the Chair getting an additional $1,500 per year for 2018.

2018 Budget & Levy (see separate Media Release on Budget)

Commissioner Deschampe asked that the levy be lowered and make highway capital cuts. Commissioner Doo-Kirk commented that the budget has been worked on all year long, and she supports balancing the budget as presented. Commissioner Bursheim made motion to accept the Levy at 17.46% ($9,236.751) (inclusive of $270,000 deduction in highway capital equipment expenditure). Commissioner Storlie seconded the motion and passed with a three to two vote. Doo-Kirk and Deschampe voted no. Auditor Powers reviewed the overall impact on homeowners increase/decrease, net effect of increase is between 4 – 9%. Tax effect of 2018 Levy was approved.

Voting Equipment Grant

The Board approved a resolution to apply to the Minnesota Secretary of State for funding from the Voting Equipment Grant for purchase of an electronic voting system in the amount of $19,527.50 which the State is paying 50%.

Highway Engineer Position

The job offer for the Highway Engineer position was not accepted by the candidate selected through the recruitment process. Cook County is working on a Shared Service Agreement with Lake County’s Highway Engineer Krysten Foster.  

Highway Engineering Technician

Board approved of a separation agreement with former Highway Department employee Neal Cooper, and provided approval to advertise for a Highway Engineering Technician.

Commercial Sign Ground Lease

Board approved of Skyport Ground Lease of County property for erecting a commercial sign for the Raven Rock Grill contingent on all appropriate permits from Land Services are complete. With a 10- year renewable at $240 per year.

Commissioner Concerns
Commissioner Storlie made a statement that citizens have asked that staff be dropped to help with the budget. She then spoke about a former employee who has passed away recently due to medical conditions and how caring and dedicated she was. Commissioner Storlie commented that all our staff play an important role in keeping our County as up-to-date as can be. Storlie also acknowledged the need for all our employees, and that we wouldn’t have what we have if it wasn’t for our staff’s continued work to strive to be the best we can be.  Commissioner Doo-Kirk also acknowledged the monthly employee anniversaries and also stated that our staff is very much needed.

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]

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