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Boreal Community Media

August 14 Board of Commissioners Meeting Highlights

Aug 15, 2018 02:28PM ● By Editor

August 14, 2017 – Following are highlights and key priorities covered at the Tuesday, Aug. 14 Board of Commissioners Meeting:

Public Comment Period

Arvis Thompson commented on the proposed Hovland Public Works project and golf courses.

Consent Agenda

All items on the consent agenda were approved.
A. Claims
B. Minutes for July 24, 2018
C. Resolution for Gambling Permit
D. New Liquor License Application
E. Donations
F. K9 Eddy Program Donation
G. Project Award, Winter Sand Stockpile CP 18-03
H. Social Worker I – Approve hiring
I. One Day Liquor License Application


WOLD Jail study

John McNamara, Wold Architects and Engineers, presented a summary of the Master Plan Report of the Jail Study that began in 2017. The plan includes jail statistics, space analysis, and an operational analysis of jail costs. The recommendation of the study is to continue with the investigation of a project to convert our current 72-hour-hold facility to a full 12-month county jail, meeting all Department of Corrections standards.

The study also included a countywide space analysis and makes recommendations for future considerations in other County departments and buildings. To review Wold’s presentation of the Final Master Plan, go to:,%202018%20scan.pdf

Cook County Sheriff’s Office Budget review
Sheriff Pat Eliasen reviewed the proposed budgets related to law enforcement and jail services, including proposed capital expenditures, a Fleet Management Contract with Enterprise Inc, and Dispatch workspace workstation replacements. Commissioners received 2019 working budget books that include Department and line item-level budget requests from each of the County Department heads.

Sheriff Eliasen along with Deputy Paul Spry introduced K9 Deputy Eddie to the Board and reviewed the training and appropriate uses of a K9 officer including narcotics, apprehension, officer protection, tracking and item recovery.

The Board approved the K9 Memorandum of Understanding which amends the current Law Enforcement Employee Contract (LELS) to include the adoption of regular standards for K9 and Officer costs.

Radio Communications Backup Services
Rena Rogers, Director MIS, requested the Board approved the agreement for Professional Services between Cook County and Jeffrey M. Nemitz for emergency on-call-backup when the Radio Communications Analyst is out on personal leave or out of the County for the term of from Aug 20, 2018 through Dec 31, 2019, in the amount of $60 per hour with a maximum of $6,000 during the term of the contract. 

Tower Tenant Rates Policy
MIS Director Rena Rogers presented the draft Tower Tenant Rates Policy, and the Tower Tenant Rates Policy which was adopted by the Cook County Board of Commissioners.

IT End User Policies
MIS Director Rogers requested approval of Internet & Electronic Mail Acceptable Use Policy and Criminal Justice Information Email and Data Sharing Policy. A motion was made and approved.

Posting to Fill Maintenance Technician/Custodian
HR Generalist Judy Hill requested the Board approve advertising of the vacant Maintenance Technician/Custodian in the Maintenance Department. Motion was made and carried with a 4-1 vote. 

Recycling Trailer Replacement
Land Services Director Timothy Nelson presented a request to accept the proposal from Protainer for the replacement of a recycling trailer at a cost of $19,207.00, plus the addition of the T-Flex bed liner coating for an additional $1,500.00 for a total of $20,707.00.  Motion was made and carried to approve this purchase.

Budget Review Road & Bridge
Engineer Krysten Foster provided a 2019 Highway Budget overview which included reallocation of expenditures, assigning more resources for gravel and calcium chloride along with budget reductions in the labor category. The 2019 request also includes a modest allocation for capital equipment expenditures with the anticipation of an updated capital equipment replacement policy and equipment replacement schedule to be completed before the end of 2018. Construction projects for 2019 include the reconstruction of a section of CSAH 12 Gunflint Trail from Trout Lake to Pine Mountain Road, reconstruction of South Shore Drive, CSAH 1 box culvert replacement at Two Island River, Paving of the Mineral Center Road and Moose Valley Road culvert replacement at Carlson Creek. County Road and Bridge budget is largely supported by state and federal maintenance and construction dollars. County levy makes up about 23% of the total revenues it takes to fund road construction and maintenance. The proposed County levy increase for the Highway department in 2019, is just under a 2.5% increase from 2018.

Canvass Board
The County Board may approve two members of the Board who are not candidates for election to serve on the County Canvass Board of Election for the 2018 State Primary Election held Aug 14, 2018. The date for the canvass of the primary election must be held on either Aug 16 or 17. Auditor-Treasurer Powers requested the Canvass date as Aug 16, 2018, at 10 am, in the Commissioners Room.

The chosen Board Members may each select a designee, who is not a candidate for election, to serve in their place. In the absence of a Board selection, the County Auditor shall select an eligible voter in the county, who is not a public official or candidate for office. The Canvassing Board consists of the County Auditor, Court Administrator of the District Court, the Mayor of the most populous city and two members of the County Board who are not candidates at the election. Three members constitute a Quorum.  A motion to accept the date and approve the addition of Commissioner Jan Sivertson was made and approved.

Budget Amendment
County Auditor-Treasurer Braidy Powers recommended the County accept the amendment to the 2018 Budget for negotiated final payroll costs and additional State-In-Lieu of taxes. The Motion was made and approved.

State-In-Lieu Payment
County Auditor-Treasurer Braidy Powers provided a review of the State-In-Lieu annual payment. 2017 payment was 250,335.53 versus the 2018 payment of 374,457.64. $56,625 of the increase is due to the State using the appropriate valuation figure for Acquired acres in this year’s calculation. $67,497 of the increase is due to the State increasing the dollars per acre payment for other Natural Resource Lands and County Administered Other Natural Resource Lands from $1.50 to $2.00 per acre.

Administrator Update presented by Jeff Cadwell
Commissioners have been provided a budget book with working department level budget detail. Summary budget information and detail will be made available via the County website as soon as possible after the primary election. At the point of assembling department level requests for the past three years, the County was facing levy increases of 26-30%. Preliminary numbers for 2019 are coming in as single digits and I would expect our first budget summary to be made available before the end of the week.

Town Hall Budget Meetings have been scheduled as follows, with all meetings beginning at 6 pm:

Sept 4, District 4 – Fire Hall 1
Sept 5, District 5 – Birch Grove School
Sept 6, District 1 – Hovland Town Hall
Sept 10, District 2,3 – Community Center

Agenda management software implementation will begin later this week with an implementation meeting and training session beginning the week of Aug 20. We will be working towards a goal of having the system fully implemented by Oct 1, 2018. The agenda management software will provide greater access and transparency by offering user level subscriptions for notices of the publication or change in agendas and minutes. The contents will also be searchable.

Commissioner Concerns
August employee anniversaries were recognized:

Higgins, Westley


Highway Department

Mitchell, Diana


Attorney’s Office

Kinderman, Michael


Highway Department

Bushard, Grace


Public Health & Human Services

Kerr, Lisa

1+ 2

Land Services/Parks & Trails Commission

Full details of Board Meetings are available through video footage, Agendas & 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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