Motion after motion died at Tuesday's Crow Wing County Board meeting as a twisted path led to a change for the freshly minted joint Planning Commission/Board of Adjustment.
At issue is a county ordinance that requires three members of the Planning Commission/Board of Adjustment be from the townships versus being city residents. The newly appointed five-member joint board has two township residents. As many as seven members may serve on the planning board.
County commissioners had three options - change the ordinance, appoint a sixth member or change an existing appointment.
Neither Commissioner Doug Houge nor Board Chairwoman Rosemary Franzen wanted to change their appointments. Mark Liedl, land services director, recommended the board add a sixth member to the planning board.
But Commissioner Rachel Reabe Nystrom was opposed, preferring a single representative from each commissioner district as being more fair. Nystrom suggested going ahead with upcoming training and the first joint PC/BOA meeting while the county board considered options. Liedl disagreed, noting the joint group could not meet and take official action in March as it violated the county's own ordinance.
A motion by Commissioner Phil Trusty to add a sixth member looked as though it may be approved. Commissioner Paul Thiede added an amendment to add a county board member to create a seven-member joint planning board. Nystrom opposed the amendment but it passed. Then all the commissioners voted against the original motion to add a sixth at-large member, killing the amendment as well.
A series of Thiede's motions, including options of not seating Houge's appointment or Franzen's failed for lack of a second. Motions to allow the planning commission to meet and decide the issue later also failed.
Finally, a motion to appoint Don Hales as a temporary sixth member passed with Nystrom opposed.
Planning Commission/Board of Adjustment members are: Mark Haglin, Michael Dubay, Caren Bedard, Rock Yliniemi, James Belfiori. An earlier county list including Patrick Kraklau as one of the members was incorrect.
In other business, the board:
Approved hiring up to three part-time new licensed practical nurses and a full-time replacement public health nurse for a correctional health program at the Crow Wing County Jail at $164,993 for a year. The county previously awarded the service to an outside contractor. The move is expected to save $6,000 to $7,000 for the year. Susan Beck, community services director, said the move should provide additional cost savings through third-party billing. Commissioners supported the move but expressed concerns about hiring at this time and that the costs would increase, eliminating the savings. An annual review was recommended.
Approved the sale of the combined debt issuance of $3,360,000 general obligation jail and equipment bonds. Mike Carlson, deputy auditor for finance, reported the refinancing of the detention center will save the county an estimated $120,000 and shave two years off the existing debt.
Awarded a contract to Dr. David Anderholm, psychiatrist, for psychiatric services for the jail from April 1 to Dec. 31.
Learned costs to keep sex offenders in custody during evaluation to see if they can be released after their prison sentences are completed have cost the county $380,892 during the last four years. Costs for one person for a month is $10,788.
Heard a presentation on the 4-H program in the county, which has 13 clubs and 224 current members.
RENEE RICHARDSON may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5852.
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