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County levy set with increase

December 25, 2012

Murray County Commissioners
The Murray County Board of Commissioners open all their meetings with the Pledge of Allegiance. Included in Tuesday’s agenda was a moment of silence in remembrance of the recent massacre in Connecticut.

The 2013 levy for county expenses was set with an increase of 5.25 percent a net total of $5,786,582.

Justin Hoffmann, parks director, reported the donation of the Schmitt Foundation to be used for an Native American Center at the End-O-Line Park should be returned as the project has not proceeded on recommendation of the MAP assessment. The center would be in conflict with the museum’s focus and mission and has resulted in this project being put on hold indefinitely. A specific project may be applied for later. The Foundation has been very instrumental in provided various funds for other projects of county interest.

Oscar Carlson met with the board requesting an extension of a conditional use permit for a confinement hog barn in Section 29, Lake Sarah Township. Because of lack of funds and weather conditions the tree planting was not done. The board granted the request and will allow up to a 40 foot gap in the tree line for a driveway.

Commissioner Gerald Magnus was informed of a position on a state government panel and was given a letter of support from the board to apply. The board considered it essential to have representation to discuss governmental issues as it relates to outstate and especially southwest Minnesota. Commissioner Robert Moline also attends a state meeting once a month.

Aurora Heard said there was a board vacancy on the Minnesota Counties Insurance Trust and applications needed to be in by January 23.

Elected officers, Jim Johnson - recorder, Heidi Winter - auditor/treasurer, Steve Telkamp - sheriff and Paul Malone - county attorney met with the board to discuss the work load in their various offices for the year. Johnson has held the office for 26 years and plans on retiring in the near future. The office has been quite busy this year with many property transactions and the added duty of issuing passports. Winter is in her seventh year and told about the single window for auditor/ treasurer, changes in staffing, election duties, taxes, and a good working relationship with the county coordinator. Telkamp appreciated the new building, better records management, the ARMER system and has served as sheriff for 10 years. Malone has served for 18 years - reviews the ditches, drainage systems, criminal activity and claimed “there will be something new”. The ditch reviewers said it would probably be a year before they could do the county ditches which was not good news as the projects are ready to go after the viewers reports are available. The board would prefer to bond all of the projects at one time.

Retiring commissioners Vickerman and Sauer said the job was fun most of the time and very rewarding.

The board will have a strategic special meeting to discuss the MAP assessment on January 7 at 9:00 a.m. with the historical society members and others to meet with them at 10:30 to discuss the future of the End-O-Line park and the museum. A new director for the park is needed by April 1, 2013.

Permission was granted to Shetek Area Sportsman to hold a fishing tournament on May 18. The drawing will be held at Key Largo.

Next meeting of the county board of commissioners will be December 27 at 8:30 a.m. with an open house and retirement reception from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

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