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Supervisors Reorganize, Make Appointments To Start Year

By Staff | Jan 4, 2018

Ron Graettinger will lead the Palo Alto County Board of Supervisors for the 2018 year following a reorganization of the board on the first business day of the New Year Tuesday morning, Jan. 2. Supervisor Craig Merrill was elected Chairman Pro-Tem during the meeting.

To start the New Year, the Supervisors introduced and approved several resolutions for Palo Alto County Engineer Walter Davis-Oeth. The resolutions authorized Davis-Oeth to act as the county’s authorized agent to execute the certification of completion of work and final acceptance for plans and specifications in connection with all Farm to Market and Federal Aid construction projects in Palo Alto County. Also introduced and approved was a resolution authorizing Davis-Oeth to close secondary roads for scheduled construction projects, as well as closing roads temporarily under special circumstances such as maintenance or natural disasters. Additionally, a resolution for Right-Of-Way compliance with the Iowa Department of Transportation was also introduced and approved by the board members.

Davis-Oeth presented the supervisors with four right-of-way partial acquisition agreements for the 370th Street (N26) project. Agreements were approved for Clinton Fogde, Daniel Henningsen and Craig and Karen Thu, as well as a revised agreement for Charles Pedersen, Michael Pederesen and Patricia Pedersen.

“I am re-submitting the Pedersen agreement as there was a recent death in the family, so we revised the agreement to reflect the children, whom are all in agreement to the acquisition,” Davis-Oeth explained.

“As far as this project, it’s now a matter of timing,” Davis-Oeth said. “We need to finalize the design, get the easement contracts out and signed before soliciting bids. But, all these landowners are local so it should not be a problem to get that completed. Construction-wise, we plan to have all the Right-Of-Way acquired in this fiscal year, and the actual project is set for the next fiscal year. But, if its possible, we could let bids yet in this fiscal year, before the end of June, but that would necessitate amending the construction budget.”

Davis-Oeth continued, “We’re targeting a March letting for the project with Summer construction, which would be completed yet this calendar year.”

With the start of a new year, the board introduced and approved several resolutions, including a resolution approving financial depositories for County Recorder Sue Ruppert in the amount of $100,000 at Iowa Trust and Savings Bank and for County Sheriff Lynn Schultes in the amount of $300,000 at Iowa Trust and Savings Bank were both introduced and approved. The Supervisors also designated depository amounts for County Treasurer Robin of up to $15 million for Wells Fargo Bank; $25 million for Iowa Trust and Savings Bank and $10 Million for the Laurens State Bank, all of Emmetsburg.

“Why are these amounts not a little more evenly distributed?” Supervisor Linus Solberg questioned. “We appreciate each one of these institutions being here, but shouldn’t they a little more equal?”

“These are the recommendations from Robin in the Treasurers’ Office,” County Auditor Carmen Moser explained.

In a roll call vote, the depositories were approved 4-1, with Solberg casting the lone dissenting vote.

Tim McCain of Emmetsburg was re-appointed to act as the county’s Tax Agent for the upcoming year. The five newspapers published in the county, “The Reporter” and “The Democrat” of Emmetsburg, as well as the combined “West Bend Journal,” “Graettinger Times,” and “Ruthven Zipcode” were designated as official county newspapers for legal publications during the year.

The board approved compensation for Township Trustees at a rate of $10 per hour for official duties, with a minimum of $20 for the trustees and clerks.

Several appointments and re-appointments were approved by the supervisors, including the re-appointment of Dr. Thomas Getta and Julie Nelson to the County Health Board, as well as Ronn Naig to the County Planning and Zoning Board. Tony Streit was re-appointed to a term on the County Conservation Board on a 4-1 vote, with Solberg casting the dissenting vote.

Mary Hilfiker was re-appointed to the County Civil Service Commission and Dr. Thomas Getta was appointed as the County’s Medical Examiner for a two-year term ending in 2020.

County Zoning Administrator Joe Neary presented the board with a map showing the counties in the state that are participating in the Department of Natural Resources’ Master Matrix program for construction of confinement animal feeding operations. Out of 99 counties, 88 participate in the Construction Evaluation program. Participation in the program allows the county to appeal any DNR Master Matrix ruling if the situation arises. Counties that do not participate do not have the right to appeal.

After a brief discussion, Linus Solberg moved to introduce and approve the Construction Evaluation Resolution. Supervisor Roger Faulstick offered a second and on a roll call vote, the resolution was adopted on a unanimous 5-0 vote.