Business As Usual For Commissioners

It was business as usual for the Mitchell County Commissioners at their regular Monday morning meeting. Commissioner Jim Marshall sat in as Chairman in the absence of Commissioner Mike Cooper.

Dan Streit, Noxious Weed Department, brought in three local company bids on the new computer he discussed with commissioners at last weeks meeting. The low bid was from Advanced Technology, owned by Duff Watson who teaches technology at Beloit High School. Watson's bid was for $2,354.54 and covers all of the programs his department needs, according to Streit. Other bids included one from Computer Solutions with a bid of $2,997. 49 and the bid from Racer/Tech wasn't considered since it didn't include set up and installation of the computer.

Commissioner Tom Claussen said Commissioner Cooper felt they should leave this decision up to the new weed director when they get on board but Claussen and Marshall agreed Streit would have more of an idea as to what is needed since he has been in this job for forty-one years and knows what has been done in the past. Streit said he is comfortable with the bid from Advanced Technology and this bid was approved. Watson said he could have the computer here within the next week.

Larry Emerson, Public Works, told commissioners the new truck they ordered was delivered last Monday and they are putting the extra needed equipment on it this week. The dump bed for the back of the truck won't be coming in until the end of August. Bridge crews have started on the bridge up by Dale Smiths and have the bridge deck off but it is too wet to do anything else at the present time. They got the metal file cleaned up at the landfill and sold it for $24,000. There was 15 hundred ton of the metal. His crews are trying to overlay the roads but the rain is causing problems so they will have to wait until it dries up to work on that. They use three weights of oil in the asphalt mix and they have all gone down 8 to 10 cents a gallon so this is good.

Commissioner Claussen said the City of Beloit challenged the county to see which entity could raise the most money to provide food items for the Community Food Bank. He received a donation from Rick Brown and will see that it is deposited in the food bank account.

Two Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Rebate Applications were received. One was from Carl and Kay Prather of Randall, in the USD 273 School District in the amount of $120,000 for a combination machine shed and office building for Prather Family Farms and Prather Law Office. The second was for Brent and Kimberlee Budke for a new home in the amount of $514,245. both applications were approved.

Commissioner Claussen asked Heather Hartman, Community Development Director, who was present if she wished to say anything about the Neighborhood Revitalization Program. Hartman said she feels this tax rebate program has helped a lot of people in this county since it came into being. There have been 46 million dollars in actual applications going through this program at the present time and this addition will make 55 million dollars go through the Neighborhood Revitalization Program. She plans to have a celebration to mark this milestone at some time in the future.

Commissioner Claussen thanked everyone who attended or took part in this year's Mitchell County Fair. The fair board operates on a tight budget and appreciates everyone participating in the activities offered at the fair.

Claussen also talked about the Rolling Hills Electric Cooperative, Inc. membership recently voting on Question No. 1. - Consolidating their satellite offices in Mankato, Ellsworth, and Belleville into one central location to obtain long-term savings and operational efficiencies for its members. Question No. 2. was on amending the cooperatives Articles of Incorporation as proposed by their board of directors. Although not a large number of members voted Question No. 1. passed. Claussen said it is unknown yet where that central office location will be situated. Question No. 2 did not pass, he said.

Clean-Line Energy is going ahead with its plan to put a line across part of Mitchell County and is already acquiring land the area where they intend to build the line. Claussen said they would be paying the county two hundred thousand dollars. This construction Litigation Plan is to off set costs of putting in a road and correcting any changes made to the land. This will be paid up-front before construction starts and they plan to have it finished by 2019. The public is invited to a meeting to be held this coming Wednesday night at 6 p.m. at the NCK Wellness Center meeting room.

At their last meeting, the Commissioners discussed ways to collect money to have Mitchell County included in the large mosaic tile map that is going to be placed on the State Capitol Building as part of the extensive renovations project that have been taking place for the past ten years or so. The project is almost completed and they are working on the copper plating that will cover the dome of the capitol. It was decided at the last meeting they would solicite money from the service oriented organizations in the county, however, the Mitchell County Tourism Committee came forward and has agreed to pay the full $1,000 needed for this county to be included in the mosaic. They have also received a $100 donation from Cliff Campbell for the project.

County Clerk, Chris Treaster, informed commissioners the county received a letter from the National Association of Counties inviting one of the commissioners to be on the national board. Neither commissioner present thought they would be interested due to the time and travel required. Treaster said dues to this organization are going up and she feels information received from the Kansas Assn. of Counties and the League of Municipalities is more helpful to the county. She questioned if they want to continue to belong to the national association. No decision was made.

There will be a County Budget hearing at the commission meeting next Monday morning, August 19, and fire department budgets will follow at 8:45. Anyone interested can attend the hearing.

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