The Crow Wing County Board looked at almost a dozen goals for the Brainerd Lakes Regional Community Plan Tuesday but took no action.
The community-based plan is a volunteer program that counties, cities and townships may be involved in. The program began in 1997 when the Community-Based Planning Act was passed. The program provides state assistance for area planning and creates statewide guidelines and goals for local comprehensive plans.
Sixteen of the 87 counties are participating in the community-based planning, along with numerous cities, townships and other local governmental units.
Commissioner Terry Sluss said the goals of the community-based plans were modified to fit the county's needs by what the Minnesota Planning Department established. Sluss asked the board for approval of the goals so he and county staff could begin making presentations to other municipalities to see if the communities would want to participate in the program.
Sluss said being involved in the program would help design the future of the county so people would know what to expect in the years to come.
Commissioner Dewey Tautges voted against establishing the goals because he needed more information. He said he would like to hear a presentation from staff at Minnesota Planning. Tautges said he is worried the county would lose funding from the regional or state level.
Sluss said the county would actually gain benefits by being involved in the community-based plan, such as making sure no services are duplicated.
Chairman John Ferrari voted with Tautges and said the issue should be tabled. He wanted the full board to vote on the issue. Commissioner Gil Dewes was absent.
Commissioners Sluss and Ed Larsen supported the goals.
Some of the goals were to promote cooperation with the communities to work toward the most efficient, planned and cost-effective delivery of services; provide economic opportunities throughout the region that will achieve a balanced distribution of planned growth; and protect and enhance the region's resources, including agricultural land, forests and surface water.
The issue was tabled.
In other county business, the commissioners:
Accepted a resignation from Scott Schunter, who serves on the Thirty Lakes Watershed District Board.
Agreed to rezone a five-acre tract in Lake Edward Township from agricultural to commercial with a conditional use permit. The request came from Joyce Mikesh.
Agreed to rezone 10.7 acres in the Unorganized Territory from agricultural to rural residential. The request came from Jerry and Wanda Neyens.
Heard an update on improvements made to the Black Lake access. Park Director Michael Kearns said the ramps have been replaced and earth work at the site will continue in the spring.
Agreed to hire a part-time temporary employee for the planning and zoning office. This person would work no more than 16 hours a week and would assist with on-site inspections and meeting preparations.
Authorized the sheriff's department to fill a position while an employee is on medical leave. County Administrator Peter Herlofsky Jr. reported that the employee has been off work for six months and the chance of the employee returning to work is slim. Herlofsky declined to release the name of the employee.
In an Oct. 7 memo, Herlofsky said, "In order to comply with the Department of Corrections staffing requirements, it would be beneficial to hire a person to replace this employee anticipating the employee will not be returning to work.
"Board members might be concerned that the employee will return and that would result in too many people in the sheriff's department, but with the turnover that could occur I do not see that this will happen."
Approved two leases with the Elks Lodge No. 615. One lease involves the Crow Wing County Planning Commission space. The cost of the lease increased from $300 to $375 a month.
The other lease is for space used by the county's planning and zoning and surveying departments. The cost of the lease increased from $3,025 to $3,327.50 a month.
County Auditor Roy Luukkonen said the Elks Lodge is remodeling the building, including installing carpet.
Appointed Melanie Quillin, Brainerd, to sit on the Human Rights Commission as an at-large representative. Al Martin, Merrifield, previously was the at-large member, but now represents the Crosby-Ironton School District.
Heard the out-of-home placements are $289,984 under budget.
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