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Murray County Board of Commissioners John Johnson retires from Planning Commission

February 14, 2013

By Dorothy Bloemendaal
A plaque and certificate of appreciation was presented to John Johnson for serving on the Planning Commission for 22 years and the Board of Adjustment for nine years. The most difficult part was to implement the state mandated rules that were statewide and didn’t always fit in the south as they might in the northern part of the state, he said.

There were no ditch petitions for the Murray County Board of Commissioners to discuss at their meeting on Tuesday, February 5. For their information Auditor/treasurer Heidi Winter brought up a repair or improvement that could possibly take place later in Section 35, Belfast Township when the culvert is to be replaced on Highway 62.

The board agreed to replace the No. 8 heat pump in the government center. A study of the heating system and updating revealed a considerable cost and replacement of the pumps as needed would suffice. The replacement is about $8,500 including installation.

Letters have been sent to the ditch contractors. A prime contractor will be chosen at the February 26th meeting. Hourly rates, equipment available and insurance protection are to be included in the bids.

Justin Hoffman, parks director, reported on the Fair convention he recently attended. One of the meetings he participated in was to recognize weather spotting and evacuation of the fairgrounds. He will work with the sheriff’s department for a plan. Grandstand acts were discussed with most counties going away from bands and staying with demolition derbies, races, etc. Motocross racing is in need of dirt should that event take place. The board said the dirt could later be used on the race track.

Some donations have been received for the updating of the cattle barn and sound system at the fairgrounds. A $50,000 grant has been applied for the barn and a $12,000 grant for the sound system has been written. Donations and community support are assets in receiving a grant.

The chuck wagon is scheduled to be at the fair again this year. Other acts are the Boots & Britches -Motel T camper, Lead us through the decades, the eagle center, several presentations in Heritage Hall, Mylan Ray, rope making, butter churning -with samples, ice cream making and more. No talent show is scheduled this year.

The Grain Exchange asked for permission to hold a pool tournament at the 4-H building on March 21-23. Approval was given providing proper insurance requirements are met for alcohol sales.

The board signed a letter of support to the Commissioner of Health for continued delegation agreement for Southwest Health and Human Services with the Minnesota Depart-ment of Health (MDH) and expansion of the Food, Pools, Lodging Program by 2014 for Lyon and Redwood Counties. In September of 2012, MDH recommended termination of the Food Program. Minimum changes were made to the recommendation and an appeal was made to MDH.

The contract for public transportation was signed with the state. The county would provide 15 percent of the total operating cost and 20 percent of the capital costs.

A resolution was signed for engaging an entity for health insurance. Three companies are being considered. Lincoln, Lyon and Murray and Southwest Health and Human Services have been meeting. Several other counties in the area are also interested in changing health insurance companies. The group is looking at uniform rate regardless of usage by each entity

The board approved an expenditure of $48,134.70 for the six county communication recorder. Part is paid for with 911 funds.

There will be a bid opening for overlay projects on March 19 at 10:30 a.m. and for 25,000 yards of gravel crushing at the Dovray site.

The highway department requested purchases of several pieces of equipment - concrete saw, drums for the Bobcat planer, skid loader trailer, bituminous tack trailer/sprayer, 3-inch trash pump, small dump body box with hoses, etc. for Ford F-550 and a 2005 Ford R0550 cab and chassis truck. Commissioner Dave Thiner questioned the purchase of used equipment but was assured the truck was inspected and would serve the need.

Next meeting of the board is February 19.

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