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County Board OKs two more MET towers

By Staff | Feb 25, 2018

The next step in the Oza Tanka Wind Project took place during last Tuesday’s Faribault County Board meeting.

Two conditional use permits to install one metrological tower in Barber Township, and one in Prescott Township, were authorized by the board.

EDF Renewable Energy reached an agreement with Dennis Becker for the tower project in Barber Township, and the energy supplier came to terms with the Darrell Zimmerman family trust for the project in Prescott Township.

According to the Faribault County Planning and Zoning Commission, the proposed use of both properties will not have an adverse impact on health, safety, and the general welfare of other properties and residents. Additionally, the proposed use of both properties meet the standards of the Faribault County Zoning Ordinance.

While the permits were accepted by the board, District 5 commissioner Tom Warmka abstained from both votes.

Also at the meeting, Muir Library director Heidi Schutt came before the board to ask for support of increased state funding for Faribault County libraries.

According to Schutt, public libraries within the county have been trying to gather support for the 2018 Minnesota Library Association (MLA) and Information and Technology Educators of Minnesota (ITEM) legislative platform.

The MLA and ITEM platform supports a state plan which would increase funding from $13.57 million annually. Under the plan, these resources would be distributed to all regional public library systems. Additionally, funding would increase from $1.3 million to $2 million annually to help support communication and resource sharing with other Minnesota libraries.

The board approved Schutt’s request for support, as well as a revision of the current funding formula. On Tuesday, Feb. 13, Schutt received a similar approval for additional library funding from the Winnebago City Council.

Other items from the meeting included:

Two separate motions were passed to hire Dustin Anderson as drainage water management technician and Mary Eckhardt as technical administrative assistant in the county attorney’s office.

Lamar Piper was sworn in as special assistant county attorney. Piper fills the recently vacated position following the departure of former assistant county attorney Graham Berg-Moberg. He will be available indefinitely until a permanent replacement is found. Piper has served as the county’s assistant attorney in the past.

A motion was passed to set a final redetermination hearing for County Ditch 3 on March 27, at 9 a.m. in Hamilton Hall.

Meanwhile, the hearing for County Ditch 64 will take place at 10:30 a.m. on the same date at the same location. A repair petition for CD 64 was also accepted. Chuck Brandel of ISG in Mankato was authorized by the board to serve as engineer for the project.

The County Board accepted county engineer Mark Daly’s request to purchase a Trimble model S7 total station robotic unit from the state in the amount of $31,107.75.

According to the Trimble website, the total station robotic unit allows contractors to perform tasks more efficiently than conventional mechanical systems.

A work session was scheduled for March 20 at 1 p.m. to discuss solid waste policies and issues.