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January 22, 2022

1/7/2022 12:38:00 PM
Greene is County Board chair; 3-2 vote for vice chair

The 2022 Chair of the Chisago County Board is Rick Greene, who was unanimously supported by commissioners.  Greene expressed his wish that the county will soon be able to put covid concerns behind and he wants to see broadband access and service issues resolved.

The selection of the vice-chair was a little more complicated.

Out-going 2021 chair Chris DuBose nominated Marlys Dunne who is finishing serving her first year of her first term.  Commissioner Mike Robinson nominated Ben Montzka and then Montzka nominated Mike Robinson.  

Commissioner Montzka was the subject of the second show of hands— and won on a 3-2 vote, after a vote for Dunne failed 2-3.  Both tallies had Dunne and DuBose in the minority.

Meetings remain scheduled on the first and third Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m.

There was a shifting of Planning Commission citizen members later in appointments.  

Shellene Johnson is off the land use oversight group replaced with the majority vote for applicant Jolene Wille.  Again Dunne and DuBose were the minority votes.  DuBose said he wanted Johnson to be reappointed because she is up to speed regarding ongoing planning commission efforts reviewing codes and he feels the real estate background she brings to the discussion is valuable.

Commissioner Robinson motioned for appointing Wille;  saying he hears concerns expressed by the public that having two involved in the planning commission who both earn their living from  development and property sales “doesn’t look right...it’s a conflict of interest,” he stated.

Jim McCarthy and John Sutcliffe were re-appointed to the other expiring seats on the Planning Commission as well.

The citizen committees are filled with the exception of the U of M Extension Committee which has Dist. 5 and an at-large seat open.  Mike Robinson is the commissioner for District 5 if you have questions and any commissioner can provide information for an at-large application.
There are three openings on the Water Plan Advisory group also.

~ Ditch Levy schedules were approved for 2022 at a 10 percent increase over what was collected in 2021.  

Ditch levy is only charged against and collected from benefiting parcels and if you have a ditch levy it will be noted on the property tax statement.
There are 14 ditch levies, but two are zeroed out. (#11 and 12). Staff said the balances need to be kept healthy due to the county continuing to work on  redetermination and future designation of projects.

There was a unanimous vote of support for the request going to the state legislature for a Lakes Area Police Dept. Public safety Center. The department is working towards constructing an $8 million facility in Chisago City and officially seeks an earmark of  $3 million in state bonding bill proceeds.

The proposed facility is 17,000  square feet including a holding space, training and vehicle storage.

In reviewing the recommendations for Commissioner duties and committees assigned to each, Dunne asked if anybody would take her inter-county group “MICA’ meeting dates. She has 72 meetings resulting from multiple committee duties, the closest is Greene with 54 and DuBose with 54 meetings.

This request will be given another look after Board members have some time to consult their schedules.

Also, Commissioner Montzka accepted attending the end of month countywide township meeting, replacing Robinson.  Montzka has 30 meetings resulting from committee service. Robinson now has 34 meetings.

County Administrator Chase Burnham said a personnel committee meeting is needed. The federal mandate on vaccinations and masking have to be addressed locally. The meeting was set for January 14 at 1 p.m.

Assistant County Attorney Jeffrey Fuge told commissioners the lawsuit underway does not include Minnesota as a party so there is no need to make any rules contingent on that. But, he did anticipate more guidance that same day (Tuesday morning) from the state on  compliance deadlines.

And, January 14 there will be a facilities committee session to start finalizing building needs that will later go before the full board for approval or rejection.

The Board also approved a request from Lent Township asking the county to provide septic inspection in 2022.

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