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Supervisors hear update on Des Moines East Fork

By Staff | Mar 26, 2008

WALLINGFORD — The Emmet County Board of Supervisors Tuesday heard an update on a proposed formation of a compact to improve the Des Moines River East Fork watershed.

The meeting was held at the Emmet County Nature Center at Wolden Campground.

Michelle Schaefers, district conservationist with the Natural Resource Conservation Service, recapped a March 14 meeting in Ceylon, Minn., in which conservation and government officials from Emmet County along with officials from Jackson and Martin counties in Minnesota discussed a draft copy of a cooperative agreement for watershed improvement. The compact has the support of the Lake Okamanpedan Improvement Association which would eventually like to dredge Tuttle Lake.

Schaefers said eventually she would like to see every county in the east fork watershed in the group.

“There’s a lot of potential here for growth,” said Supervisor Roger Anderson who also attended the March 14 meeting. Anderson said the group of three counties hoped to eventually dredge Tuttle Lake.

Schaefers noted a suggested membership fee of 1 cent per acre of watershed per county could be assessed. Before the group can come to fruition, though, Schaefers said it needed to determine whether Minnesota statutes would be sufficient to form the compact or whether Iowa Code needed to be written into the agreement.

In other business Tuesday, Mental Health Coordinator Dorothy Christensen presented the contract for mental health affiliation which the board approved.

In his road report, County Engineer Roger Patocka said crews had been pushing snow on level B roads, patching, and filling potholes.

Rudi Abel and Phil Thelen, owners of the building which Emmet County rents for the Department of Human Services, appeared before the board to report that all repairs requested by the DHS had been made to the building. Abel said he had never received a letter that was sent to request the repairs.

Abel said he and Thelen wanted to address the issue since they have had a good working relationship with the county over the 18 years they have leased the building. He said normally he receives a telephone call if repairs are necessary.

Abel also noted that DHS officials had written a letter to the effect that the matter had been resolved.

Abel also called the board’s attention to the fact that after paying for utilities, taxes, and insurance, his monthly net on the space the county rents was 17.56 cents a square feet for the month of February.

“We really appreciate the business you’ve given us the last 18 years and we want to continue it,” Abel said. “We addressed everything on the list that we needed.”

That included a panic door which Supervisor Jim Jenson at a previous meeting had termed a “convenience and not a necessity.”

In other business, the supervisors:

n Approved $51,105 for weed spraying this season.

n Met with Arvin Enerson on reclaiming two acres near a county gravel pit. The board decided to wait 30 days on the matter until after a Department of Mining official tours the site.

n Heard Jenson call the board’s attention to the fact that area contractors who wish to bid in the Estherville housing rehabilitation project need to attend the eight-hour mandatory training for certification. Contractors who may be interested in bidding on any of the 10 housing projects and who would like to take the training may call Carol Keizer at the Northwest Iowa Planning and Development Commission at 1-800-798-7224.