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Boreal Community Media

June 12 Board of Commissioners Meeting Highlights

Jun 13, 2018 03:33PM ● By Editor

Media release from Cook County - June 13, 2018

June 13, 2018 – Following are highlights and key priorities covered at the Tuesday, June 12 Board of Commissioners Meeting:

Public Comment Period 
Susan Perrin Schubert, Denny Fitzpatrick, Sharon Frykman and Barb Backlund all spoke against the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) Border to Border Route. Scott Benolken spoke in favor of the DNR Border to Border route. 

A reminder that DNR representatives will be holding a Border to Border Touring Route Public Meeting on June 19, 5 pm, at Courthouse, Commissioners Room, to provide an update on the proposed Border to Border Touring Route for licensed off-road vehicles – similar to a back-country scenic byway that will utilize existing roads and routes.

Arvis Thompson spoke about housing/jobs.

Consent Agenda

All items on the consent agenda were approved:
A.  Claims
B.  Minutes for May 8 & 22, 2018
C.  Data Practices Related Policies – AMENDED
D.  SWCD request County Environmental Trust Funds for County Geologic Atlas
E.  AIS Contracts for Watercraft Inspectors
F.  Fiscal Officer PHHS - approve hiring 
G.  Hwy Maintenance Worker II – approve hiring


Retirement/Hire and Health Care Savings Plan (HCSP)
Judy Hill, HR Generalist presented a proposal for the MIS Systems Administrator position moving to 20 hours per week and retiring at the end of 2018, and to hire a replacement. The motion was made and approved.

Ms. Hill also brought forth the annual renewal of the Employee Benefits HCSP renewal. Motion was made and approved. 

Todd Smith, Assessor presented abatements, which were correcting classifications errors of properties regarding homestead qualifications. Motion was made and approved.


Septic Loan and Tower Ordinances Adoption
Timothy Nelson, Land Services Director brought two items to the Board:
1) The Septic Loan Ordinance #60 changes reflect the move of the administrative handling of the Loan Program from the Soil & Water Conservation District to the Auditor’s Office. The change in name from the Planning & Zoning Department to Land Services, and to clarify that the loan would be able to carry over to a new owner upon the sale of the property or it would have to be paid off at that time. The public hearing held Wednesday, May 23, received no comments before or at the meeting. The Planning Commission discussed the Ordinance and voted unanimously to approve the proposed amendments. In addition to the Ordinance amendments, relevant policies and procedures will be amended to reflect the changes. Motion was made and approved. 

2) The updated Tower Ordinance #47 reflects the up-to-date technology we have today and any changes in federal regulations, and removed the Wind Energy Conversion Systems (WECS) from the Ordinance. The updated Tower Ordinance also encourages co-location wherever possible to reduce tower proliferation in the County. The Planning Commission had some questions and clarification and voted unanimously to recommend the adoption of the amendments. Motion was made and approved. 

U.S. Forest Service 
Michael Crotteau, Marshell Moy, and Jonathan Benson presented information related to the proposed Kimball Project in the Gunflint Ranger District of the Superior National Forest. There are several needs in the area such as reducing hazardous fuels, preserving and creating new wildlife habitat and improving ecosystem resiliency. Tribal Governments, local partners, and users of forest lands are critical in helping us craft our large vegetation projects. There will be an Open Forum on June 28, 2018, at the Gunflint Ranger Station Conference Room from 4-6 pm. During this meeting, the Gunflint District Inter-Disciplinary Team will be available to explain the Forest Service’s objectives for this project. They would also like to hear from you on locations and areas that are of specific concern to stakeholders.

Administrator Update

County Administrator Jeff Cadwell, discussed five items in the Administrator Update:

1) Five citizens, one from each Dstrict, applied for this Committee. District 1: Arvis Thompson,

District 2: Mike Carlson, District 3: Jim Boyd, District 4: Nick Burger, and District 5: Liz Wagner.  Motion was made and approved.

2) Regarding Capital project CSAH 17, the question was posed as to if Cook County wants to ask for

bids now, or wait until next year? Motion was made and approved to authorize advertisement of bids with a proposed advertisement date of June 23, and a bid opening on July 18.

3) Wold Jail Study – The core planning group will be meeting June 14, to review the draft Master



4) A letter of support for the Superior Cycling Association was requested. Motion was made and

     approved to send the letter.


5) Motion was made and approved for the 2019 Budget Calendar – additional Budget details to be

     released shortly.

Commissioner Concerns/Comments 
Commissioner Heidi Doo-Kirk:

  • Recognized employees who have anniversaries this month and thanked them for all they do. She praised the Assessor’s Office for all their challenging work in the past several years.
  • Doo-Kirk also spoke about the land that was sold to a company who planned on a potential development of assisted living facilities, and advised they will not be moving forward.
  • The EDA is to be commended on creating housing in Cook County.  

Restorative Justice Committee:

Commissioner Myron Bursheim spoke about a Restorative Justice Committee, and would like to join it. Commissioner Doo-Kirk would like more information before another Committee gets put on their already long lists.  County Attorney Molly Hicken advised the Committee is in its infancy now, she will contact a representative of the Committee to present to the Board at a later date.

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]


Boreal Ship Spotter - larger view here