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County questions Region 9 actions

By Staff | May 6, 2012

The Faribault County Board of Commissioners was in full attendance last Tuesday after Tom Warmka’s physical absence from the April 17 meeting.

Warmka did participate in the April meeting via conference call but was feeling well enough to return for Tuesday’s meeting.

“I’m slowly feeling better,”?Warmka says.

Warmka is recovering from recent heart surgery.

With all the commissioners in attendance and in good health, they got right down to business by welcoming John Considine from Region Nine to the meeting.

Considine was present with Michele Stindtman to discuss working on the comprehensive plan which was introduced at the March 20 meeting.

However, there were several concerns from the commissioners about working with Region Nine.

“This is the best comprehensive plan we’ve seen,”?county commissioner Bill Groskreutz Jr. says. “But, I?have some issues about working with Region Nine.”

Groskreutz voiced his worries to Considine.

“We had a business looking to locate into Faribault County, and one of Region Nine’s employees directed him to somewhere outside of the county,” he says.

He was also displeased with a disaster plan that had previously been worked on with Region Nine.

“I?just feel it wasn’t as complete as it should have been,”?Groskreutz adds.

He also shared his frustration with past business loan.

“There is an outstanding business loan,” he says. “Region Nine says it’s paid, but the city of Wells says it isn’t.”

Considine was ready to address the problems raised by the board.

“As for the issue with the business relocation, I’m surprised that happened,”?he says. “However, that must have been tied to past staff.”

Considine reassured the board that they have since moved forward with a new staff that is more experienced and has a forte in the area of comprehensive planning.

“We also now have a stronger working relationship with the Economic Development Authority at this point,”?he adds.

The disaster plan that was brought up had begun before Considine started working with Region Nine. He was only involved in the tail end of that particular project.

“The state had a lot of issues,” he says. “Which resulted in a lot of fine tuning on our end.”

Addressing the final issue about the outstanding loan was a little less certain. However, Considine did agree to look into it so it could be settled.

“I’ve had my issues with them too,”?Commissioner Tom Loveall says. “Maybe we’re beyond them. The comprehensive plan is going to need ongoing maintenence and Region Nine is someone to help us through that.”

Warmka also agreed that he has experienced several similar frustrations.

“Everyone has baggage and I’m all about moving forward,”?he says. “Lets put the past in the past.”

The board of commissioners decided to try to resolve past issues and move on.

“We really want the county there throughout the process of the comprehensive planning,” Considine says.

In other business;

Faribault County received a dividend of $180,780, which will be deposited back into the general fund.

The fair board invited the Board of Commissioners to hold their July 17 meeting during the Faribault County Fair.

The fair board felt it might give the public more access to the commissioners meeting, if that was something the board of commissioners were interested in.

The commissioners thought it was a good idea, depending upon what things they may need access to from the offices in the courthouse that wouldn’t be available to them at the fairgrounds.

Michele Stindtman announced that SWCD will be at the fairgrounds.

They are holding a Drainage 101 presentation in the tent on July 18 from 11 a.m.- noon and will have a booth set up all day.

Students visited the courthouse and attended a portion of the Commissioners meeting as a part of Boys and Girls County Day.

Commissioners took a time to describe what goes on during a meeting and what the board members do on a day-to-day basis.