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County Board disperses CARES Act funds

By Staff | Sep 6, 2020

The Faribault County Board of Commissioners met Sept. 1 and passed a resolution allocating $845,319 of CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) funds to various entities in the county. The board had met the prior week in a work session to formulate a plan on how to distribute the funds.

Education received the biggest allotment with United South Central and Blue Earth Area School District each receiving $178,395.09. Genesis Classical Academy will receive $49,554.19. The commissioners had not heard from St. Casimir’s School in Wells until Tuesday’s meeting and will address their request at a later date.

Also earmarked for funds was United Hospital District in the amount of $113,974.63. Senior care facilities were also included in the allocation with St. Luke’s Lutheran Care Center receiving $30,699.48, Parker Oaks Senior Living getting $15,544.04, Parkview Care Center and Clark’s Crossing sharing $23,316.06 and Sister Care receiving $5,440.42.

There was also $250,000 which was kept for in-house use by the county.

Also on the agenda was handling an application for an intoxicating off-sale liquor license for the Derby Inn in Jo Daviess Township. The request had already been approved by the township.

“I contacted the state and the Derby Inn meets the qualifications for the license,” county auditor/treasurer Darren Esser told the board.

The board passed a resolution to grant the license, pending approval by the Minnesota commissioner of Public Safety. The license will be good until March 31, 2021.

Public Works director Mark Daly attended the meeting virtually to discuss various road and highway issues.

Commissioner John Roper asked if Daly had heard anything about Jo Daviess Township closing the “Catholic Church” road in Blue Earth because so many people were using it instead of the approved detour which is needed because of the construction on Leland Parkway.

“I was not aware of that,” Daly replied. “As far as I know, a road cannot be closed unless it is under construction or is impassable.”

Roper said he would investigate the matter further and was aware there was concern with people traveling the gravel road at high speeds.

Daly also presented the commissioners with an American with Disabilities Act (ADA) Transition Plan.

“The plan has to be approved before we can accept federal funds,” Daly explained. “This deals with the pedestrian ramps on streets in towns within the county. Currently 51 percent of our ramps meet the ADA requirements. The plan says as we do reconstruction on streets we will include pedestrian ramp upgrades.”

The plan was passed by the commissioners.

A resolution to award the refunding of the Huntley Sewer District bond was also taken up by the board. The commissioners voted to award the bid to First Bank Blue Earth at an interest rate of 2.99 percent. This will save $55,000 over the life of the bond which matures in 2049.

Menno Schukking of SRF Consulting Group addressed the board virtually to ask for support for the Regional Transportation Coordinating Council (RTCC).

The purpose of the council is to formalize and seek coordination between transportation providers to eliminate transportation service gaps, eliminate redundancies and give better customer access to providers to meet their travel needs, according to Schukking.

“We are in the planning process and need to have at least four counties give approval to the plan before we can receive Phase 2 implementation funding from the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT).” Schukking explained. “This is not a financial commitment and does not obligate you to spend any money at this time.”

Schukking told the board MnDOT would fund 100 percent of the RTCC the first year. Beginning the second year MnDOT would fund 90 percent of the expected $150,000 budget, which would leave the participating counties to split the remaining $15,000.

The resolution passed unanimously.

In other business:

The board directed the auditor/treasurer to disperse the 2020 allocation of $10,000 to the Faribault County Historical Society.

A motion to approve the hiring of Deanne Walk as a secretary in the Recorder office was approve.

The commissioners voted to approve the request of Central Services director Lexi Scholten to take an online Practical Leadership course and a three-day virtual Negotiation Bootcamp.