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Boreal Community Media

June 26 Board of Commissioners Meeting Highlights

Jun 28, 2018 10:49AM ● By Editor

June 26, 2018 – Following are highlights and key priorities covered at the Tuesday, June 26 Board of Commissioners Meeting:

Adjustments to Agenda

Agenda approved with the following adjustment:

  • Add to consent agenda item H, contract.
  • Item 5: Krysten Foster, Highway Engineer, on Cook County Transportation Plan move to July 10, 2018 Board meeting. 

Public Comment Period

  • Arvis Thompson appeared before the Board and talked about travel in and around Cook County regarding the DNR’s proposed Border to Border Route.
  • Mike Carlson also appeared before the Board and made comments about the last meeting public comments on the DNR’s proposed Border to Border Route.

Consent Agenda

All items on the consent agenda were approved:
A.  Claims
B.  Firewise Fuel Reduction Agreements
C.  Job Description Change
D.  Temp worker
E.  Donation of Hwy Dept Items to Historical Society
F.  Increase Land Services Secretary to 40-Hours 
G.  Border Route Trail Portage Brook Bridge Relocation
H.  Firewise Brush Disposal Service Agreement (add on)


Visit Cook County Update
Executive Director Linda Jurek and Lily Nelson-Pederson, Events Resource Coordinator provided an up on Visit Cook County activities and upcoming events.

Human Resources Items

Judy Hill, HR Generalist brought two items to the Board:

1) Roth 457 Option: Staff currently have the option to contribute to a pre-tax 456 plan with either MN Deferred Compensation Plan or Nationwide. The employees on the Benefits Committee requested a Roth 457 option be allowed. A Roth (after tax), option can be added to both plans at no extra cost to Cook County. The County’s current (up to 3%) contribution would continue to be pre-tax. The motion was made and approved. 

2) Posting Dispatch/Jailer Position: A probationary Dispatcher/Jailer’s employment with Cook County was terminated on June 20, 2018. A request to post the vacancy was made as a result of this termination. Motion was made and approved. 

Refueling Facility and Temporary/Seasonal Housing

Bill Lane, Planning & Zoning Administrator brought two items to the Board:

1) IUP for a refueling facility in the FAR-3 Zone district. The Planning Commission voted to approve the Dean Berglund request for a commercial refueling operation on his property adjacent to the Gunflint Trail. The Facility is intended to operate on a subscription/keyed-use basis and will be restricted to commercial, local, and long-distance trucking operations. Some concern was expressed (and discussed) regarding potential impacts to adjacent water resources by Commission members and adjacent property owners. The request was approved on a 4-1 vote.  The Planning Commission requests the Board of Commissioner’ to approve the request, mindful of attached conditions and multiple agency oversite. There was more discussion by the Board. Motion was made and approved.

2) The Planning Commission voted unanimously to approve the Tofte Homestead PUD # 1 LLC request to allow the seasonal use of an RV for up to five employees affiliated with Bluefin and Surfside Resorts. They respectfully ask the Board of Commissioners to mirror their actions through approval of the Tofte Homestead request.  There was discussion from the Board and a motion was made and approved. 

Administrator Items
Jeff Cadwell, County Administrator spoke to two items:

1) The Director of Emergency Management & Public Information duties and salary were discussed. A revised job description to accurately reflect the change in scope and work being done was recently reviewed by the Personnel Committee. A motion was made and approved to accept the revised job description as recommended by the Personnel Committee.

2) Capital Bid Opening: Bids on all three of the following three capital projects all came in higher than expected:

  • The Hovland Garage
  • Community Center Skating Rink
  • Community Center Warming House

The Board voted to accept the low bid on all three projects contingent on ability to value engineer each of the three projects within the fiscal constraints of the allocated budget. The Board granted the County Administrator the authority to accept or reject the contracts as necessary. The County Administrator will be negotiating with the contractors next week to see if the bids can meet the budget constraints. The Board will be notified of the outcome.

State Representative Robert Ecklund, District 03A
State Representative Robert Ecklund attended to give an update on the most recent legislative session. His presentation highlighted items included in the Bonding Bill relating to Cook County, specifically the Grand Marais Harbor Project.

Commissioner Concerns
Commissioner Doo-Kirk brought forth a draft resolution regarding the Border to Border Touring Route to be considered by the Board at a later date. The resolution outlines support for the project in principle, but wants the Board of Commissioners to be consulted and involved in the planning process, as the project moves forward.

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


Contact: Jeff Cadwell, Cook County Administrator, 218-387-3687 or


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