Skip to content

COUNTY BOARD

March, 2020

COMMISSIONER PROCEEDINGS

MARCH 9, 2020

The Lake of the Woods Board of Commissioners met in Special Session on Monday, March 9th, 2020 at Lake of the Woods County Government Center in the Commissioner’s Room.

CALL TO ORDER

Chairman Jon Waibel called the meeting to order at 9:00 a.m. with the following members present: Commissioners: Joe Grund, Cody Hasbargen, Ed Arnesen and Jon Waibel.  Also present: Human Resource Director, Savanna Slick and County Attorney, Jim Austad.

NON-ELECTED DEPARTMENT HEAD EVALUATIONS

County Engineer, Anthony Pirkl met with the board to discuss the Public Works Department.  No formal evaluation was given as he has been employed less than a year.

County Assessor, Mary Jo Otten met with the board for a performance evaluation.   Mary Jo chose to have her review open.  County Assessor, Mary Jo Otten, was evaluated and received a favorable review.

Land & Water Planning Director, Josh Stromlund met with the board for a performance evaluation.  Josh chose to have his review open.  Land & Water Planning Director, Josh Stromlund, was evaluated and received a favorable review.

MIS Director, Peder Hovland met with the board for a performance evaluation.   Peder chose to have his review open.  MIS Director, Peder Hovland, was evaluated and received a favorable review.

Social Services Director, Amy Ballard met with the board for a performance evaluation.  Amy chose to have her review open.  Amy Ballard, Social Services Director, was evaluated and received a favorable review.

ELECTED DEPARTMENT HEAD UPDATES

County Sheriff, Gary Fish presented the board with updates from the Lake of the Woods County Sheriff’s Office.

RECESS

With no further business before the board, Chairman Waibel called the meeting to recess at 1:35 p.m.

Attest:                                                                          March 10, 2020

_________________________________                  ____________________________County Auditor/Treasurer, Lorene Hanson                    Chairman of the Board, Jon Waibel

===============================================================================================================================================================================================================================================

Commissioner Proceedings

March 10, 2020

The Lake of the Woods County Board of Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, March 10 2020 at Lake of the Woods County Government Center in the Commissioners’ Room.

CALL TO ORDER

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

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

Motion

Motion was made by Commissioner Cody Hasbargen, seconded by Commissioner Joe Grund and carried unanimously to approve the agenda with the following additions: Approval of Minutes from 3/09/2020, Sheriff Department – permanent part-time position, Auditor/Treasurer Department – approve new hire, and correspondence from the United States Department of the Interior Fish and Wildlife Service.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Motion

Motion was made by Commissioner Joe Grund, seconded by Commissioner Cody Hasbargen and carried unanimously to approve the official and summarized minutes of February 25, 2020.

Motion

Motion was made by Commissioner Cody Hasbargen, seconded by Commissioner Joe Grund and carried unanimously to approve the official minutes of March 9, 2020.

SOCIAL SERVICES

Claims

Motion

Motion was made by Commissioner Buck Nordlof, seconded by Commissioner Joe Grund and carried unanimously to approve the following claims: Commissioners Warrant’s $18,227.54, Commissioners Warrant’s $1,656.81, Commissioners Warrant’s $21,644.98.

Fraud Investigation

Angie Eason, Financial Assistance Supervisor for the Social Services Department, provided an update on the fraud investigation resources available to the County.  The County now has access to an official fraud investigator through a collaboration with Beltrami and Clearwater Counties.

AUDITOR/TREASURER

Claims

Motion

Motion was made by Commissioner Ed Arnesen, seconded by Commissioner Buck Nordlof and carried unanimously to approve the claims against the County as follows: Revenue $36,777.33, Road & Bridge $31,363.06, Social Service $1.99; County Development $200.00; Joint Ditch $360.00, Solid Waste $13,586.15, EDA $409.49, Sales/Forfeited Lands $225.00.

WARRANTS FOR PUBLICATION

Warrants Approved On 3/10/2020 For Payment 3/13/2020

Vendor Name                                        Amount

Compudyne, Inc                                                      2,150.00

Howard’s Oil Company                                            3,160.39

Interstate Engineering Inc                                      16,112.86

LOW Highway Dept                                                 6,866.25

Mn State Dept-Correction                                      20,333.17

Powerplan                                                               6,655.16

R & Q Trucking, Inc                                                  3,605.00

63 Payments less than 2000                                  24,040.19

                           Final Total: 82,923.02

Further moved to authorize the payment of the following auditor warrants: February 26, 2020 for $233,417.47, February 27, 2020 for $1,000, March 3, 2020 for $162,963.86, March 4, 2020 for $19,104.37.

Approval to Hire

Motion

Motion was made by Commissioner Cody Hasbargen, seconded by Commissioner Buck Nordlof and carried unanimously to authorize County Auditor/Treasurer, Lorene Hanson, to hire Connie Nesmith at grade 11, step 1, $20.33 per hour, points 253, and effective March, 23, 2020.

LAND AND WATER PLANNING

Conditional Use Permit

AT&T; Powder River Development Services LLC

Consideration of Conditional Use Permit #20-02CU by Powder River Development Services, LLC: the NE4NE4 Less Deeded; NW4NE4, Section Nine (9), Range One Hundred Fifty-eight (158) North, Range Thirty-one (31) West – Parcel ID#: 43.09.11.000. Applicant is requesting a Conditional Use Permit as required by Section 401-C of the Lake of the Woods County Zoning Ordinance, to operate a commercial communications tower in a Rural Residential District (R2).

No additional comments were heard from the public at this meeting. Land and Water Planning Director, Josh Stromlund, reviewed the Findings of Fact with the board and informed the board that the Planning Commission recommended approval with conditions. The specific conditions of approval are as follows: comply with FCC guidelines and rules governing communication towers, comply with FAA guidelines and rules governing communication towers.

Motion

Motion was made by Commissioner Ed Arnesen, seconded by Commissioner Buck Nordlof and carried, as follows: In Favor: Commissioners: Ed Arnesen, Cody Hasbargen, Jon Waibel and Buck Nordlof; Against: Commissioner Joe Grund; to approve the Conditional Use Permit, with conditions as noted in the Findings of Fact, Powder River Development Services, LLC to operate a commercial communications tower in a Rural Residential District (R2).

Lake of the Woods County Board of Commissioners

Findings of Fact and Decision

Name of Applicant:  __AT&T; Powder River Development Services LLC  Date:  _March 10, 2020

Location/Legal Description:  The NE ¼ NE ¼  Less Deeded; NW ¼ NE ¼, Section Nine (9), Range One Hundred Fifty-eight (158) North, Range Thirty-one (31) West – Parcel ID#: 43.09.11.000­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­_____

Project Proposal:   A Conditional Use Permit, as required by Section 401-C of the Lake of the Woods County Zoning Ordinance operate a communications tower in a Rural-Residential District (R2). ____

  1. Is the project proposal consistent with the Lake of the Woods County Comprehensive Land Use Plan?                                                                                                 YES (X) NO (  )  N/A (  )

Why or why not?  The Lake of the Woods County Board is clear about the type of values important to the county as it develops an approach to managing its land base over the next decade. While those values include a respect for the environment and a desire to maintain the environmental quality that now exists, they also include a desire for local control over the issues that affect the county’s land, and individual choice when it comes to issues of work and leisure. Technological capabilities are ever evolving and a communication tower in this location will expand the individual choice of where to work and recreate.

            Future Land Use Plan Goals

The construction of the communication tower will maintain the tax base of the county so quality services can be provided while providing for improved recreational opportunities for residents and visitors.

Future Land Use Policies

The construction of the communication tower will maintain the county government’s economic health through the maintenance of its tax base, and the promotion of compatible economic activity. It will enhance the tourism industry in Lake of the Woods County through recreational enhancement and promotion activities.

The goals and policies are focused on the county’s core values:  individual choice in the areas of work and leisure, local influence over land use polity that affects the county, balance between individual rights and the public’s welfare and between competing economic development and environmental interests.

2. Is the project proposal consistent with maintaining the public health, safety, and welfare?

YES (X)  NO (  )  N/A ( )

Why or why not?  A communication tower in this location will enhance public safety by allowing for better cell phone reception. This tower will be tied in the FirstNet network which is an initiative to deploy, operate, maintain, and improve the first high-speed nationwide wireless broadband network dedicated to public safety.

3.      Is the project proposal consistent with the goal of preventing and controlling water pollution, including sedimentation and nutrient loading?                                                                                    YES (  ) NO (  )  N/A (X)

Why or why not? ______________________________________________________

4.      Will the project proposal not adversely affect the site’s existing topography, drainage features, and vegetative cover?                                                                                                  YES (  )  NO (  )  N/A (X)

Why or why not? ______________________________________________________

5.      Is the project proposal’s site location reasonable in relation to any floodplain and/or floodway of rivers or tributaries?                                                                                                            YES (X)  NO (  )  N/A ( )

Why or why not?  The site is not location in the floodplain and/or floodway of the Rapid River.

6.      Has the erosion potential of the site based upon the degree and direction of slope, soil type and existing vegetative cover been adequately addressed for the project proposal?

                                                                                                                        YES (  )  NO (  )  N/A (X)

Why or why not? ______________________________________________________

7.      Is the site in harmony with existing and proposed access roads?                   YES (X)  NO (  )  N/A (  )

Why or why not?  Access to the site is off of County Road 84 (55th Street SW).

8.      Is the project proposal compatible with adjacent land uses?             YES (X)  NO (  )  N/A (  )

Why or why not?  No change.

9.  Does the project proposal have a reasonable need to be in a shoreland location?

                                                                                                                        YES ( )  NO (  )  N/A (X)

Why or why not?  The location is not within the shoreland area of the Rapid River.

10.     Is the amount of liquid waste to be generated reasonable and the proposed sewage disposal system adequate to accommodate the project proposal?                                                      YES (  )  NO (  )  N/A (X)

Why or why not?  There will be no liquid waste generated and no sewage disposal system proposed.          

11.     Will the visibility of structures and other facilities as viewed from public waters comply with Section 901 of the Zoning Ordinance?                                                                                           YES (  )  NO (  )  N/A (X)

Why or why not?  The tower is not located within the shoreland area of the Rapid River.

12.     Is the site adequate for water supply and on-site sewage treatment systems?

                                                                                                                          YES (  )  NO (  )  N/A (X)

Why or why not?  Water supply and on-site sewage treatment system is not proposed.       

13.     Are the affected public waters suited to and able to safely accommodate the types, uses, and numbers of watercraft that the project proposal will generate?                                                        YES (  )  NO (  )  N/A (X)

Why or why not?  This project has no bearing on public waters.

14.     If the project proposal includes above ground or below ground storage tanks for petroleum or other hazardous material that is subject to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) requirements, has a permit been sought?                                                YES (  )  NO (  )  N/A (X)

Why or why not?  This project has no above or below ground storage tanks proposed.

15.     Will there be fencing and/or other screening provided to buffer the project proposal from adjacent properties?                                                                                                YES (X)  NO (  )  N/A ( )

Why or why not?    It is required under FCC regulations.

16.     If signage is associated with the project proposal, has the applicant demonstrated the need for the number and size requested, and minimized the visual appearance as viewed from adjacent properties to the extent possible?                                                                              YES (X)  NO (  )  N/A ( )

Why or why not?  It is required under FCC regulations.

17.     If the project proposal will generate additional traffic to or from the site, has the applicant adequately demonstrated how the additional traffic and parking is to be addressed?

                                                                                                     YES (X)  NO (  )  N/A ( )

Why or why not?  Traffic and/or parking will occur on-site. After construction is completed,

the additional traffic is considered minimal for routine maintenance.

If all answers to the Findings of Fact-Criteria are either “Yes” or are “Not Applicable” to the request, the criteria for granting the conditional use permit have been met. The conditional use permit will maintain the goals of safety, health, and general welfare of the public. 

The specific conditions of approval are as follows: 

  1. Comply with FCC guidelines and rules governing communication towers.

2. Comply with FAA guidelines and rules governing communication towers.

Approved as Presented ( )                 Approved with Conditions  (X)                      Denied  (  )

            March 10, 2020                                               _____________________________________

                        Date                                                                             Jon Waibel

                                                                                                        Chair, County Board

This is in accordance with Section 1204 of the Lake of the Woods County Zoning Ordinance.

Conditional Use Permit

An additional conditional use permit to be presented today was tabled by the applicant until next month.

Preliminary Plat

Consideration of Preliminary Plat Common Interest Community #4 A Planned Community Eagle Ridge First Supplement: a 2.26-acre tract in the SE corner of Government Lot Eight (8), Section One (1), Township One Hundred Sixty-seven (167) North, Range Thirty-three (33) West (Oak Island). Applicant is requesting to create six tracts to accompany the existing Sportsman’s Eagle Ridge Common Interest Community #4 as lots for storage purposes only. No comments were heard from the public. Land and Water Planning Director, Josh Stromlund, informed the board that the Planning Commission recommended approval.  Final plat will be ready in May or June

Motion

Motion was made by Commissioner Cody Hasbargen, seconded by Commissioner Ed Arnesen and carried unanimously to approve the Consideration of Preliminary Plat Common Interest Community #4 A Planned Community Eagle Ridge First Supplement to create six tracts to accompany the existing Sportsman’s Eagle Ridge Common Interest Community #4 as lots for storage purposes only.

CITY OF BAUDETTE

Land Trade

Resolution

The following resolution was offered by Commissioner Buck Nordlof, seconded by Commissioner Cody Hasbargen and carried unanimously the following:

RESOLUTION APPROVING

LAND TRADE with CITY OF BAUDETTE

RESOLUTION NO. 20-03-01

WHEREAS; the Lake of the Woods County Board met on March 10, 2020;

WHEREAS; on said date it was unanimously approved by said board, to approve and authorize the sale of the real estate described below to the City of Baudette, a municipal corporation under the laws of the State of Minnesota;

NOW, THEREFORE, upon motion duly made, seconded and unanimously approved,

IT IS HEREBY RESOLVED, as follows:

  1. That the County of Lake of the Woods, a municipal corporation under the laws of the State of Minnesota, shall sell to the City of Baudette, a municipal corporation under the laws of the State of Minnesota, for the sum of $1.00, real property located in the County of Lake of the Woods, State of Minnesota, described as follows:

Lot Six (6), Block Six (6), in Cathcart’s Addition, Village of Baudette, excepting the West 5 feet of said Lot:

2. That the Lake of the Woods County Board Chair and Lake of the Woods County Auditor are authorized to sign the Warranty Deed on behalf of the County of Lake of the Woods.

Dated this 10th day of March, 2020.

AMEND AGENDA

Motion

Motion was made by Commissioner Buck Nordlof, seconded by Commissioner Cody Hasbargen and carried unanimously to approve the addition of an emergency closed session, per MN Statue 13D.05 Subd. 3B, Attorney/Client Privilege, to the agenda.

Motion

Motion was made by Commissioner Cody Hasbargen, seconded by Commissioner Joe Grund and carried unanimously to close the regular meeting at 10:02 a.m. and open the closed session at 10:02 a.m., pursuant to MN Statute 13D.05 Subd 3B, pending or threatened litigation involving Lake of the Woods County Jail.  Members present were: Commissioners: Ed Arnesen, Cody Hasbargen, Joe Grund, Buck Nordlof and Jon Waibel, also present: County Attorney James Austad and County Sheriff Gary Fish.

Motion

Motion was made by Commissioner Joe Grund, seconded by Commissioner Buck Nordlof and carried unanimously to close the closed session at 10:10 a.m. and open the regular meeting.

SHERIFF

Permanent Part-Time Position

Motion

Motion was made by Commissioner Cody Hasbargen, seconded by Commissioner Ed Arnesen and carried unanimously to approve a permanent part-time Deputy Sheriff position for the Sheriff Department at grade 12, points 282.

COUNTY HIGHWAY/LANDFILL

Part-Time Summer Workers

Motion

Motion was made by Commissioner Joe Grund, seconded by Commissioner Buck Nordlof and carried unanimously to approve the County Highway Department to advertise, interview and hire part-time summer workers – seasonal equipment operators, temp engineer technician and/or light equip operators.

Summer Rental of Mini-Excavator

County Engineer, AJ Pirkl, discussed the possibility of renting a mini-excavator for four months to clean culverts.

Highway Update

AJ Pirkl, County Engineer, provided the County Highway Update.  Road restrictions will go on Friday, 3/13/2020.  Working on cleaning JD24 and then will go to JD16.  Getting quotes on sprayers.  Bids went out for JD28/Golf Course, bid opening will be April 1st.  Bids going out for sealcoating on Co Rd 3, 14, the school road and school parking lot.

Landfill Update

AJ Pirkl, County Engineer, provided the County Landfill Update.  A down payment was made on a 2012 Freightliner, looking into warranty options. The cost will be closer to $35,000, if the warranty is included.  It was the consensus of the board to purchase the warranty as well.

Landfill Work Session

A new agreement with MPCA would allow the landfill to expand to the North, providing an additional 21,000 cubic yards of waste space, getting the landfill to the year 2027.  New wells and test probes will bring the ground water evaluation cost to about $76,000. 

The County is currently hauling 325 tons of solid waste per year from the North West Angle, with an all-in-cost of about $320 per ton to haul.  If the hauling destination could change to Steinbach, Manitoba, it could result in 10% savings to the budget.

Tons of solid waste per year at the Graceton landfill is at 3,200, with an all-in cost of about $230 a ton to haul.

A University of Minnesota student will be researching the effects of tourism to communities’ solid waste, emergency management and public safety resources. Lake of the Woods County will be included in this project.

Due to the amount of garbage that came in this January and February, the Landfill is currently over budget.

The County will do a comparison on landfill solid waste costs with Koochiching County.

DNR AREA WILDLIFE MANAGERS UPDATE

DNR Area Wildlife Managers, Scott Laudenslager and Gretchen Mehmel, provided an update on the deer harvest, bear harvest and recent habitat accomplishments.


CORRESPONDENCE

The board reviewed correspondence from the United States Department of the Interior Fish and Wildlife Service.

RECESS

With no further business before the board, Chairman Jon Waibel called the meeting to recess at 12:04 p.m.

Attest:                                                                                      March 24, 2020

_____________________________                          _________________________________County Auditor/Treasurer, Lorene Hanson                    Chairman of the Board, Jon Waibel

============================================================================================================================================================================================================================================

Commissioner Proceedings

March 16, 2020

The Lake of the Woods County Board of Commissioners met for an emergency meeting on Monday, March 16, 2020 at Lake of the Woods County Government Center in the Commissioners’ Room.

CALL TO ORDER

Chair Jon Waibel called the meeting to order at 10:30 a.m. and the Pledge of Allegiance was recited with the following members present: Commissioners: Joe Grund, Jon Waibel, Buck Nordlof, Cody Hasbargen, Ed Arnesen. Also present were: County Personnel: Lorene Hanson, Susan Ney, Gary Fish, Mary Jo Otten, James Austad, Amy Ballard, AJ Pirkl, Josh Stromlund, Peder Hovland, Savanna Slick, Jill Hasbargen-Olson, Ted Furbish, Sandy Peterson, Craig Severs, Jodi Ferrier and Angie Eason; and Mike Hovde.

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

Motion
Motion was made by Commissioner Cody Hasbargen, seconded by Commissioner Buck Nordlof and carried unanimously to approve the agenda.

COVID-19 Lake of the Woods County Emergency Plan

Jill Hasbargen-Olson, Lake of the Woods County Emergency Manager, provided a pandemic response plan and asked the board to review, update and identify indicators of when certain services would close. 

The County will continue to monitor the Governor’s recommendations.

Peder Hovland, MIS Director, shared that there are computers with VPN access available for staff who would need to work remotely.

Increased cleaning procedures and the availability of cleaning supplies for County facilities was discussed.

The board and department heads discussed functions/procedures that could continue with limited or no physical contact.  Possible limitations to be set by the court system were also discussed. The Commissioners’ Room is now closed to outside groups until further notice.

The board asked each department to submit a reduced staffing plan by Wednesday.

Plans for upcoming meetings will need to be made with some commissioners attending physically and others remotely with the use of phone or web conferencing.

Motion

Motion was made by Commissioner Joe Grund, seconded by Commissioner Cody Hasbargen and carried unanimously to limit all non-essential travel and meetings for County Employees until further notice.

If County Employees are sick, they should stay home.

A listing of contact information and services available from County Departments will be provided to the newspaper and posted on the Government Center’s Public Entrances to encourage customers to conduct business by phone or online when possible.

A COVID-19 Emergency Planning Meeting will be held in the Commissioners’ Room at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, March 20, 2020.

RECESS

With no further business before the board, Chairman Jon Waibel called the meeting to recess at 11:30 a.m.

Attest:                                                                                      March 20, 2020

__________________________________                            _________________________________County Auditor/Treasurer, Lorene Hanson                                Chairman of the Board, Jon Waibel

================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================

Commissioner Proceedings

March 20, 2020

The Lake of the Woods County Board of Commissioners met for a special meeting on Friday, March 20, 2020 at Lake of the Woods County Government Center in the Commissioners’ Room.

CALL TO ORDER

Chair Jon Waibel called the meeting to order at 9:00 a.m. and the Pledge of Allegiance was recited with the following members present: Commissioners: Joe Grund, Jon Waibel, Buck Nordlof, Cody Hasbargen, Ed Arnesen (by conference call). Also present were: County Auditor/Treasurer Lorene Hanson, County Attorney James Austad and Mike Hovde.

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

Motion was made by Commissioner Buck Nordlof, seconded by Commissioner Joe Grund and carried unanimously by those present and by Commissioner Ed Arnesen by phone to approve the agenda.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Motion was made by Commissioner Buck Nordlof, seconded by Commissioner Cody Hasbargen and carried unanimously by those present and by Commissioner Ed Arnesen by phone to approve the minutes from the March 16, 2020 Emergency Meeting.

CHI LAKEWOOD HEALTH

Kay M. Schell, CHI LakeWood Health Public Health Manager, and Jenny Loughery, CHI LakeWood Health Infection Control and Employee Health Coordinator, met with the board, while Jeff Stamophar, CHI LakeWood Health Vice-President of Hospital Operations, attended via conference call.  Schell gave an update pertaining to public health, Loughery and Stampohar provided information regarding hospital preparedness.

DECLARATION OF EMERGENCY

Resolution

The following resolution was offered by Commissioner Cody Hasbargen, seconded by Commissioner Buck Nordlof and carried unanimously by those present and by Commissioner Ed Arnesen by phone the following:

RESOLUTION

DECLARATION OF EMERGENCY

COVID-19

RESOLUTION NO. 20-03-02

WHEREAS; the COVID-19 Pandemic Virus will impact the population of Lake of the Woods County and its Cities due to the significant disruption of public services to include School Closures, Day Cares, Public Health Services and other services essential to the health and wellbeing of the citizens of Lake of the Woods County; and

WHEREAS; the World Health Organization has declared a global pandemic is occurring as the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) has spread across the United States and Minnesota; and

WHEREAS; additional resources may need to be requested and/or reassigned to meet community needs; and

WHEREAS; the daily operations of county government are anticipated to be impacted to comply with Minnesota Department of Health and Center for Disease Control recommendation to minimize the spread of COVID-19; and

WHEREAS; the President of the United States has declared a National Emergency enacting the Stafford Act and the Governor of Minnesota has declared a Peacetime State of Emergency; and

WHEREAS; Lake of the Woods County Emergency Management requests the Lake of the Woods County Board of Commissioners to declare Lake of the Woods County in a State of Emergency for the response to the COVID-19 crisis.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Lake of the Woods County Board of Commissioners hereby declares Lake of the Woods County in a State of Emergency for the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency effective March 16, 2020.

COURTHOUSE CLOSURE TO PUBLIC

Resolution

The following resolution was offered by Commissioner Buck Nordlof, seconded by Commissioner Cody Hasbargen and carried unanimously by those present and by Commissioner Ed Arnesen by phone the following:

RESOLUTION

TEMPORARY CLOSING DOORS TO PUBLIC

COVID-19

RESOLUTION NO. 20-03-03

WHEREAS; the COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Pandemic Virus will impact the population of Lake of the Woods County and its Cities due to the significant disruption of public services to include School Closures, Day Cares, Public Health Services and other services essential to the health and wellbeing of the citizens of Lake of the Woods County; and

WHEREAS; the World Health Organization has declared a global pandemic is occurring as the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) has spread across the United States and Minnesota; and

WHEREAS; the daily operations of county government are anticipated to be impacted to comply with Minnesota Department of Health and Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommendation to minimize the spread of COVID-19; and

WHEREAS; the Lake of the Woods County Board of Commissioners have deemed it to be in the best interest of the County of Lake of the Woods and its residents that action be taken to protect the general public as well as County Employees.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Lake of the Woods County Board of Commissioners hereby declares all Lake of the Woods County buildings and facilities temporarily closed to the public effective Monday, March 23, 2020 until further notice, except for the Graceton Landfill, which will have controlled, limited access for household garbage only.

FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED, that although the buildings and facilities will be closed to the public, the Lake of the Woods County services and operations will continue to be provided to the community through phone, email and on-line services.


DMV/Driver’s License

It was noted the required documentation would be sent to the state regarding the availability of motor vehicle and driver’s license services.

COVID-19 DISCUSSION

Employees-Staggered Time

Motion

Motion was made by Commissioner Joe Grund, seconded by Commissioner Buck Nordlof and carried unanimously by those present and by Commissioner Ed Arnesen by phone that during the COVID-19 temporary close of County Buildings and Facilities and on behalf of the Lake of the Woods County Board of Commissioners; all County Employees will be directed/scheduled by their respectful  Department Heads, to follow the Minnesota Department of Health and Center for Disease Control (CDC)  and stagger their schedules accordingly to limit their contact with the public and fellow employees; retro-active to  Monday, March 16, 2020 until further notice. 

Employees Sick/Stay Home

Motion
Motion was made by Commissioner Buck Nordlof, seconded by Commissioner Cody Hasbargen and carried unanimously by those present and by Commissioner Ed Arnesen by phone that employees following the COVID-19 temporary closure of County Buildings and Facilities and the staggering of schedules, will be paid at their regular rate of pay.

OTHER LOCAL IMPACT

There is a concern with tourism.  Commissioner Ed Arnesen will speak with Lake of the Woods Tourism Director, Joe Henry.  Commissioner Skoe from Koochiching County would like to have a discussion regarding spring fishing during the next board meeting.  The board requested this to be added to the next regular board meeting Tuesday, March 24, 2020.

RECESS

With no further business before the board, Chairman Jon Waibel called the meeting to recess at 11:05 a.m.

Attest:                                                                                      March 24, 2020

__________________________________                            _________________________________County Auditor/Treasurer, Lorene Hanson                                Chairman of the Board, Jon Waibel

=============================================================================================================================================================================================================================================

Commissioner Proceedings

March 24, 2020

The Lake of the Woods County Board of Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, March 24 2020 at Lake of the Woods County Government Center in the Commissioners’ Room.

CALL TO ORDER

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

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

Motion

Motion was made by Commissioner Joe Grund, seconded by Commissioner Cody Hasbargen and carried unanimously to approve the agenda with the following additions: Legislation pertaining to the Law Enforcement Center, MIS to provide update on computers and additional call-in numbers for today’s meeting.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Motion

Motion was made by Commissioner Ed Arnesen, seconded by Commissioner Buck Nordlof and carried unanimously to approve the official and summarized minutes of March 10, 2020.

Motion

Motion was made by Commissioner Cody Hasbargen, seconded by Commissioner Buck Nordlof and carried unanimously to approve the official minutes of March 20, 2020.

SOCIAL SERVICES

Claims

Motion

Motion was made by Commissioner Joe Grund, seconded by Commissioner Buck Nordlof and carried unanimously to approve the following claims: Commissioners Warrant’s $4,187.68, Commissioners Warrant’s $1,940.26, Commissioners Warrant’s $37,042.54.

Sanford Thief River Falls Contract

Motion

Motion was made by Commissioner Buck Nordlof, seconded by Commissioner Cody Hasbargen and carried unanimously to approve the purchase of service contract with Sanford Health Network North dba Sanford Behavioral Health Center and for Commissioner Jon Waibel to sign the same.

AUDITOR/TREASURER

Claims

Motion

Motion was made by Commissioner Joe Grund, seconded by Commissioner Cody Hasbargen and carried unanimously to approve the claims against the County as follows: Revenue $58,930.30; Road & Bridge $10,145.61; County Development $500.00; Natural Resource Enhancement $2,400.00; Solid Waste $20,647.58; EDA $765.33.

WARRANTS FOR PUBLICATION

Warrants Approved On 3/24/2020 For Payment 3/27/2020

Vendor Name                                        Amount

Cenex Co-Op Services, Inc.                                    8,593.81

Code 4 Services,Inc                                              10,942.25

Compudyne, Inc                                                     12,500.00

Counties Providing Technology                               3,751.00

Election Systems & Software, Inc                           2,344.90

Grant’s Mechanical                                                  2,247.73

Holen Electric                                                           7,200.00

Mar-Kit Landfill                                                       13,237.00

Minnesota Secretary Of State                                 3,942.50

Northland Business Systems                                  3,164.77

Widseth Smith Nolting&Asst Inc                               2,400.00

Woody’s Service                                                     2,435.67

9 Payments less than 2000                                     20,629.19

Final Total: 93,388.82

Further moved to authorize the payment of the following auditor warrants: March 11, 2020 for $149,684.40, March 11, 2020 for $27,674.

Bank Signature Cards

Wells Fargo Signature Cards

Motion

Motion was made by Commissioner Ed Arnesen, seconded by Commissioner Buck Nordlof and carried unanimously to authorize County Auditor/Treasurer Lorene Hanson, Deputy Auditor/Treasurer Stacy Novak, and Chair Jon Waibel to sign the Wells Fargo signature card for account numbers 3908, 6724, 5716, 6372 and 3100 and to remove Deputy Auditor/Treasurer Dawn Christianson from the accounts effective 4/01/2020.

River Wood Bank Signature Cards

Motion

Motion was made by Commissioner Ed Arnesen, seconded by Commissioner Buck Nordlof and carried unanimously to authorize County Auditor/Treasurer Lorene Hanson, Deputy Auditor/Treasurer Stacy Novak, and Chair Jon Waibel to sign the River Wood Bank signature card and to remove Deputy Auditor/Treasurer Dawn Christianson from the account effective 4/01/2020.

Border State Bank Signature Cards

Motion

Motion was made by Commissioner Ed Arnesen, seconded by Commissioner Buck Nordlof and carried unanimously to authorize County Auditor/Treasurer Lorene Hanson, Deputy Auditor/Treasurer Stacy Novak, and Chair Jon Waibel to sign the Border State Bank signature card for account number 2404 and to remove Deputy Auditor/Treasurer Dawn Christianson from the account effective 4/01/2020.

Wells Fargo Motor Vehicle Checking Account

Motion

Motion was made by Commissioner Cody Hasbargen, seconded by Commissioner Buck Nordlof and carried unanimously to authorize County Auditor/Treasurer Lorene Hanson, Deputy Auditor/Treasurer Erik Tange, Deputy Auditor/Treasurer Jaime Boretski-LaValla and Deputy Auditor/Treasurer Connie Nesmith for account number 5502 effective 04/01/2020.

Dawn Christianson Retirement – Years of Service Resolution

Resolution

Year of Service Recognition

The following resolution was offered by Commissioner Jon Waibel and moved for adoption:

RECOGNITION OF YEARS OF SERVICE

Dawn Christianson

RESOLUTION 2020-03-04

 Whereas:  Dawn Christianson has served the residents of Lake of the Woods County since March 31, 1986 as Lake of the Woods County Deputy Auditor/Treasurer;

Whereas:  Dawn has resigned from Lake of the Woods County service effective March 31, 2020 with thirty-four years of service;

Now Therefore, Be it Resolved:  That Lake of the Woods County Board of Commissioners extends its deepest appreciation to Dawn for her dedicated service and best wishes to her;

The resolution was seconded by Commissioner Ed Arnesen and the same being put to a vote, was unanimously carried.

LAND AND WATER PLANNING

Approval of Feedlot Annual Report

Motion

Motion was made by Commissioner Joe Grund, seconded by Commissioner Cody Hasbargen and carried unanimously to approve the 2019 County Feedlot Officer Annual Report.

COUNTY HIGHWAY/LANDFILL

RFP for Soil Borings

AJ Pirkl, County Engineer, requested permission to send out an RFP for soil borings on upcoming projects, looking at approximately 120 soil borings, most at 5 to 6 feet deep. It was the consensus of the Board to proceed with the RFP for soil borings.

SEH Contract for Landfill Permit

AJ Pirkl, County Engineer, informed the Board that the cost for the new landfill permit will be $37,000.  It was the consensus of the Board to proceed.

MNDOT Detour Agreement

Resolution

The following resolution was offered by Commissioner Cody Hasbargen seconded by Commissioner Buck Nordlof and carried unanimously the following:

RESOLUTION APPROVING

MnDOT DETOUR AGREEMENT No 1036553

RESOLUTION NO. 20-03-05

IT IS RESOLVED, that Lake of the Woods County enter into MnDOT Agreement No. 1036553 with the State of Minnesota, Department of Transportation (MnDOT) for the following purposes:

To provide for payment by the State to the County for the use of County State Aid Highway No. 6, County State Aid Highway No. 8, and County State Aid Highway No. 2 as a detour route during the construction to be performed upon, along and adjacent to Trunk Highway No. 172 from the junction with Trunk Highway No 11 to Wheelers Point under State Project No. 3904-24 (Trunk Highway 172=140).

IT IS FURTHER RESOLVED, that the County Board Chair Jon Waibel and the County Auditor/Treasurer Lorene Hanson are authorized to execute the Agreement and any amendments to the Agreement.

Highway Update

AJ Pirkl, County Engineer, discussed options to invest state aid and construction budget dollars. It was determined that dollars from the construction budget may be the better option to invest.  It was the consensus of the board to invest construction budget dollars with interest earned to be kept in the County Highway Budget.  Plans were submitted for the 1st Ave project.  A concern was brought to the Board regarding Ditch 1, the area in question is a private culvert and is not County owned.

RECESS

The Board took a brief recess and reconvened the meeting at 9:55 a.m.

SPRING FISHING DISCUSSION WITH KOOCHICHING COUNTY

Commissioners from Koochiching and Lake of the Woods Counties met, by conference call, to discuss concerns raised by constituents regarding COVID-19 and spring fishing.    

Motion
Motion was made by Commissioner Cody Hasbargen, seconded by Commissioner Joe Grund and carried unanimously to close all County controlled Right of Ways that provide access along the Rainy River effective Tuesday, March 24, 2020 until further notice.

COVID-19 UPDATE

Jill Hasbargen-Olson, Emergency Management Director, provided an update.

  • First Lutheran Church in Baudette will coordinate volunteers to help those in need
  • Emergency plans are being reviewed with mortuary services in Roseau
  • ICS classes are required for federal reimbursement
  • Conducting testing of Code Red messaging system
  • Reaching out to the NWA to assist them in emergency planning
  • A minimal amount of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is available for law enforcement
  • No confirmed cases in Lake of the Woods County
  • Exposure could be 14 days and 14-17 days for symptoms to begin, while the person is contagious the entire time
  • Prepare for a shelter-in-place order from the Governor

UPDATE ON COUNTY COMPUTERS

Peder Hovland, MIS Director, provided an update on computers for employees, who are needing to work from home due to COVID-19.  New, already imaged, computers are being shipped and should be here tomorrow.  Also discussed using WebEx for future board meetings.

LEGISLATION PERTAINING TO PROPOSED LAW ENFORCEMENT CENTER

The Board discussed the timeliness of the proposed local sales tax given the current situation with COVID-19.   The local sales tax request for the proposed Law Enforcement Center is expected to be on the legislative docket for April 14th.

RECESS

With no further business before the board, Chairman Jon Waibel called the meeting to recess at 11:50 a.m.

Attest:                                                                                      April 14, 2020

_____________________________                          _________________________________County Auditor/Treasurer, Lorene Hanson                    Chairman of the Board, Jon Waibel

=============================================================================================================================================================================================================================================

Commissioner Proceedings

March 31, 2020

The Lake of the Woods County Board of Commissioners met for a special meeting on Tuesday, March 31, 2020 at Lake of the Woods County Government Center in the Commissioners’ Room.

CALL TO ORDER

Chair Jon Waibel called the meeting to order at 9:00 a.m. and the Pledge of Allegiance was recited with the following members present: Commissioners: Jon Waibel, Buck Nordlof, and Cody Hasbargen.  Present by phone were: Commissioners: Joe Grund and Ed Arnesen.  Also present were: County Auditor/Treasurer Lorene Hanson, County Attorney James Austad, County Emergency Management Director Jill Hasbargen-Olson, County Sheriff Gary Fish and Mike Hovde.

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

Motion was made by Commissioner Buck Nordlof, seconded by Commissioner Cody Hasbargen and carried unanimously by roll call to approve the agenda. For: Commissioner: Ed Arnesen, Joe Grund, Cody Hasbargen, Buck Nordlof and Jon Waibel; Against: None

COVID-19 UPDATE

County Emergency Management Update

Jill Hasbargen-Olson, Emergency Management Director, provided an update.

  • Working on a memorandum of understanding with local lodging facilities: Walleye Inn, Walleye Retreat and Baudette Motel. These lodging facilities could be used by individuals who need to quarantine or for hospital overflow, if a need was to arise.
  • The old arena can be used as a designated area to screen/test for COVID-19.
  • If extra hospital beds are needed, 27 cots are available.
  • Working on transportation plans with Helgeson Funeral Homes.
  • No confirmed cases in Lake of the Woods County.

County Human Resources Update

Savanna Slick, Human Resources Director, presented a Lake of the Woods County Public Health Emergency-COVID-19 Employee Quarantine Policy for approval. Slick also talked about the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and benefits it offers to employees impacted by COVID-19.  Slick will provide a tracking resource to the various department timekeepers to share with staff. Employees should be tracking activities affected by the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.

Motion
Motion was made by Commissioner Buck Nordlof, seconded by Commissioner Cody Hasbargen and carried unanimously by roll call to approve the Lake of the Woods County Public Health Emergency- COVID-19 Employee Quarantine Policy. For: Commissioner: Ed Arnesen, Joe Grund, Cody Hasbargen, Buck Nordlof and Jon Waibel; Against: None

Other

Motor Vehicle Services offered at the County will be unavailable starting on Monday, March 30, due to the shelter-in-place order. 

County Attorney James Austad said that court cases will continue with safety precautions in place.  A public line will be available to call into the hearings.

Board members are hearing concerns and questions from constituents about the Wheelers Point access.  Community based recreation is allowed during the shelter-in-place order, but not all people define “local” the same way.

OTHER AREAS OF CONCERN

Proposed Law Enforcement Center

In discussions with Representative Matt Grossell regarding the local sales tax for the proposed Law Enforcement Center.  With the current public health emergency, there is concern among the Board that it may not be a good time for the local sales tax to be on the ballot. Representative Grossell suggested that the Board write a letter to the legislators, governor and the Department of Corrections to see if there are options to extend the timeline for the proposed Law Enforcement Center.

Motion

Motion was made by Commissioner Ed Arnesen, seconded by Commissioner Cody Hasbargen and carried unanimously by roll call to approve writing a letter to the legislators, governor and the Department of Corrections to see if there are options to extend the timeline for the proposed Law Enforcement Center. For: Commissioner: Ed Arnesen, Joe Grund, Cody Hasbargen, Buck Nordlof and Jon Waibel; Against: None

RECESS

With no further business before the board, Chairman Jon Waibel called the meeting to recess at 10:05 a.m.

Attest:                                                                          April 14, 2020

__________________________________                            _________________________________

County Auditor/Treasurer, Lorene Hanson                                Chairman of the Board, Jon Waibel