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Palo Alto County Auditor Resigns

By Staff | Dec 14, 2011

The Palo Alto County Board of Supervisors will be faced with filling a vacancy in the courthouse following action on Tuesday, Dec. 6. Long-time Palo Alto County Auditor Gary Leonard read a letter of resignation to the board during it’s weekly meeting.

Indicating his desire to retire, Leonard informed the Supervisors that his last day in office would be Dec. 31, 2011. “I want to thank the board, the employees and the citizens of Palo Alto County for their cooperation, courtesy and friendship extended to me during my term of service,” Leonard said. “I will remember by service to the people always.”

The board accepted Leonard’s resignation with regrets and good wishes for the future.

The board also acted on a second resignation during the meeting.

“Antone, Chick Claussen of Mallard is resigning from the county Veterans’ Affairs Commission,” Leonard informed the board. “It has been recommended to appoint Christina Claussen of Mallard to fill Chick’s unexpired term, which will expire in May of 2012.”

According to Leonard, Christina Claussen served in the military in the Middle East and is currently living in the Mallard area. The appointment was approved on a unanimous vote of the board.

In other business, the board met with the Palo Alto County Library Association, who presented their budget request for the upcoming fiscal year. Nathan Clark, Librarian for Emmetsburg and Ruthven, acted as spokesman for the group and requested that the board fund the association at a five percent increase over the current year’s $76,912 funding level. The board took the request under advisement for budgeting time.

Also appearing before the board were representatives of the Palo Alto County Fair Association. Business Manager Devona Perkins presented the board with the fair’s budget request of $38,000, a decline of $500 from the current year’s budget. Additionally, resolutions of support for two Palo Alto County Gaming Development Commission grants were presented by the Fair Board and approved on unanimous votes of the board.

Board members also approved a budget modification for the Secondary Road Department as presented by County Engineer Joel Fantz. A total of three modifications to budget areas would be made, starting with the purchase of the new excavator, which was originally budgeted for the 2010-2011 budget year, but did not arrive until this budget year due to the earthquake in Japan earlier this year. That modification totaled $180,000.

A second modification covered the costs of crushing gravel and cleaning up the county gravel pit north of Lost Island Lake. Crushing costs created a need for a modification totaling $290,000. The final modification, amounting to $40,000, covered the costs of diesel fuel after those fuel prices remained high, while gasoline prices dropped during the year.