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July 5, 2022

July 5, 2022

Emergency Meeting-Flooding

The Lake of The Woods County Board of Commissioners met in an emergency session on Tuesday, July 5, 2022 at Lake of the Woods County Government Center in the Commissioners’ Room.

Call To Order

Chair Buck Nordlof called the meeting to order at 9:00a.m. and the Pledge of Allegiance was recited with the following members present: Commissioners: Buck Nordlof, Jon Waibel, Cody Hasbargen, Joe Grund and Ed Arnesen. Also present was County Auditor/Treasurer Lorene Hanson. 

Approval of Agenda


Motion was made by Commissioner Ed Arnesen, seconded by Commissioner Joe Grund and carried unanimously to approve the agenda.  


Lake of the Woods County Board of Commissioners, Emergency Management Director Jill Hasbargen-Olson, Regional Coordinator of Northern Areas from Homeland Security Heather Winkleblack, County Engineer Anthony Pirkl, Land & Water Director Josh Stromlund, and Sheriff Gary Fish met to discuss the ongoing flood efforts. Emergency Management Director Jill Hasbargen-Olson informed the board that the sandbagging efforts from the week prior went well and they did have volunteers come to help fill the sandbags. Ms. Hasbargen-Olson also updated the board on the cost of another sandbagger quoted at $2500.00. Commissioner Ed Arnesen felt from the meeting held in Warroad, MN on Wednesday June 29, 2022 that the need for a second sandbagger at the Northwest Angle was not as great as previously thought. 

Regional Coordinator of Northern Areas from Homeland Security Heather Winkleblack informed the board that Lake of the woods County did meet the threshold for federal disaster relief and that the bill is awaiting a signature from President Joe Biden. Ms. Winkleblack also informed the board that the timeline could be up to a month before the document is signed. Ms. Winkleblack also suggests that moving forward Lake of the Woods County invests in water level gauges like the ones Red River uses. 

Concerned Citizens asked about what assistance they could expect because the federal assistance does not cover private property. Ms. Winkleblack informed them that flood insurance would be the main source of help for them, but there is the possibility of individual assistance after the water levels go down and damage is assessed. Commissioner Ed Arnesen stressed again the importance of documenting the damage and funds used to fix it. 

Land & Water Director Josh Stromlund informed the board on various damage he has surveyed and the damage to the islands of Pine and Garden. He will be giving a presentation to the regional management team with images of the current flood damage to show that storm surges and winds contribute to the damage and it is not just water levels alone. 

There have been many concerned about contamination of well water due to the floods. Well testing kits will become available to those who need them.

The board discussed the 1925 convention and protocol treaty and questioned the datum points that are being used in current year. They will continue this conversation after reaching out to the Lake of the Woods Control Board for more clarity. 


With no further business before the Board, Chair Buck Nordlof called the meeting to recess at 10:00 a.m.

Attest: July 12, 2022

______________________________ _________________________________

County Auditor/Treasurer, Lorene Hanson Chair James “Buck” Nordlof