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County says OK to board changes

By Staff | Sep 23, 2012

After months of discussion, the Faribault County Board has finally approved that two members be added to the Faribault County Planning and Zoning Board.

Debate about the issue during previous board meetings caused some confusion to the original request, which was to allow two members to serve on both the Board of Adjustments and Planning and Zoning Board.

The request was brought back to the Board of Commissioners at the Sept. 18 meeting where they approved that Jim Meyer and Maureen Mittlestadt will fill the open spots on the planning board until the end of this year.

“There will be four open spots at the end of the year,” Michele Stindtman of the Soil and Water Conservation District says.

The openings at the end of the year brought up concerns regarding the structure of the Planning and Zoning Board in the future.

Commissioner Tom Loveall felt that they should consider appointing more representatives for the higher population districts.

“I think geographic spreading is important,”?he says.

Commissioners Tom Warmka and John Roper felt the opposite and suggested they cut back the amount of members.

The size of the board is to be between five to 11 members.

“I’d like to see it trimmed to seven members,”?Roper says.

Stindtman, however, would like to keep it at a 10 member board to make sure there are enough people present for a quorum.

“If we cut down the members on the board and a scheduling conflict arises, we are less likely to have enough people for a quorum,” Stindtman says.

The board will discuss this again at a later date and asked Stindtman to come prepared with information on the structure of the two boards.

Brenda Ripley was present at the County Board meeting to discuss hiring two new county employees.

At the Aug. 7 board meeting the commissioners discussed the retirement of Gary Hill and George Murphy and passed a motion to advertise to fill their positions.

The board had hoped to privatize some of the county maintenance work, but in the end did approve that the positions be filled.

Ripley came to the board with the names of two applicants to be hired in the position.

“We had 24 applications for the two positions,”?she says. “We did interviews, road tests and behind the wheel tests.”

Jade Warmka, of Hastings, who will be moving to Blue Earth, and Brian Schaffer of Blue Earth were the two applicants that the board approved to be hired.

In other business;

Commissioner Warmka stated during his committee report that he had received an update on the new 800 megahertz radio system.

“Everyone who is up and running on the new radio system has had a good experience so far,”?he says. “It seems to be working out great.”

Faribault County began making the switch in August and has been using the system since Aug. 21.

County Attorney Troy Timmerman asked Faribault County if they would support Hennepin County in a lawsuit against organizations Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Hennepin County is filing a lawsuit on behalf of all Minnesota counties.

“Other counties are expressing informal support at this time,”?Timmerman says. “I assume there will be some sort of formal process later.”

Should the counties of Minnesota lose this lawsuit, it will not cost Faribault County any money.

The commissioners voted in favor of supporting Hennepin County’s lawsuit.