County Board gears up for budget talksThe Lake County Board of Commissioners is gearing up to work on its 2013 budget. The first meeting for budget purposes will be later this month, when various financial requests from county departments and organizations will be considered.
By: LaReesa Sandretsky, Lake County News Chronicle
The Lake County Board of Commissioners is gearing up to work on its 2013 budget. The first meeting for budget purposes will be later this month, when various financial requests from county departments and organizations will be considered.
Michelle Backes-Fogelberg, the public health supervisor for Lake County, was the first to speak at the county board meeting last week. She presented an amendment to the county's food and beverage service ordinance. The most significant change streamlines the ordinance to match state codes. The board approved the change this week after a public meeting.
Lenore Johnson, former commissioner, attended the board meeting last week to submit her formal resignation as a member of the Arrowhead Library System board. She has served as the president of the board.
“Thanks on behalf of the board for all of the work you’ve done,” Commissioner Rich Sve said.
Julie Billings spoke last week as well. Billings came with a formal proposal and bids for necessary repairs at the Silver Bay Library. She asked for $15,000, which has already been matched by funds from the City of Silver Bay.
Billings brought photos showing deteriorated concrete and evidence of leakage around the building’s windows and foundation. The board agreed that it would support the project, though they were unsure whether the funds would come from the 2012 or 2013 budget. Work has already begun with city money.
“We appreciate your continued library support,” Billings said.
Last week, Commissioner Jones asked the board to consider financial and grant-writing support for the Knife River Recreation Center. It sustained heavy damage during the flood, and they’ve spent down their reserves paying for the repairs—close to $30,000. The board indicated its support of the project.
This week, the board approved a Request for Proposal for a data center after a presentation by former Lake County Attorney Russ Conrow. The RFP was drawn up by Conrow with the help of Cooperative Light and Power and Chris Swanson and will be published and sent to prospective companies who may wish to build a data center in Lake County.
Also this week, the commissioners discussed a recent meeting with Frontier Communications concerning the ownership of utility poles that are needed for fiber optic construction. Commissioner Bergman said the meeting went very well and they expect pole ownership to be ironed out quickly.
Bergman mentioned that the St. Louis/Lake County Rail Authority is once again allowing coal cars to be stored along the North Shore Scenic Railroad between Duluth and Two Harbors. The storage is seen as an eyesore by some, he said, but is a source of revenue for the county.
The board approved its consent agenda and all of its resolution items.