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County commissioners celebrate National County Government month: Community volunteers honored

WORTHINGTON -- The Nobles County Board of Commissioners met in regular session Tuesday morning to meet with department heads and proclaim April as National County Government month in Nobles County.

WORTHINGTON - The Nobles County Board of Commissioners met in regular session Tuesday morning to meet with department heads and proclaim April as National County Government month in Nobles County.

Nationwide, 3,069 counties provide services to more than 300 million Americans. This month, county governments are encouraged to focus on strengthening the safety and security of the community through the National Association of Counties “Safe and Secure Counties” initiative. The commissioners unanimously approved Resolution 201626, proclaiming April as National County Government Month for the 20,000 citizens across the county the board serves.
Also Tuesday, Joanne Bartosh, Nobles County Coordinator for A.C.E. of Southwest Minnesota, told commissioners that in 2015, the county had 376 active volunteers of a total 451 volunteers. The volunteers contributed 48,278 hours of service to the county. Bartosh said volunteers cost the county $1.35 per hour but are worth $23.07 per hour in what they contribute.
“I think we’re pretty good,” Bartosh commented. “I think we tend to keep you guys in budget.”
Bartosh was joined by volunteers from a number of local organizations, including Worthington Woodcrafters, Bibles for Missions, Recycled Treasures, Bone Builders, Mobile Meals of Worthington and more. The commissioners thanked the volunteers in the audience for their service with a standing ovation.
“Joanne, I want to thank for organizing all these programs,” Commissioner Marvin Zylstra said. “... It’s wonderful that you have all of these programs. But you know what makes them successful? These folks in the audience that volunteer many, many, many hours.
“I want to congratulate them, and give them a hand and say, ‘Thank you very much.’”
In other business, the commissioners:

  • Approved conditional use permits for Bullerman Livestock and Grain, Marty Weiss and Brian Gengler, all of Adrian, and James Larson of Rushmore.
  • Approved a new vehicle purchase for emergency management to replace the department’s existing Durango. 
  • Awarded a contract for various bituminous surfacing projects near Dundee to Duininck Inc. of Prinsburg with a bid of $2,636,132.01, a sum 27 percent less than the project’s estimate. 
  • Approved a private sale of a 70-by-400 foot parcel of land adjacent to Worthington Christian Church. Adjacent property owners to the parcel will be given an opportunity to submit a sealed bid. 
  • Approved the new union contract for correctional officers. The contract expired Dec. 31, 2014, and was finally agreed upon following arbitration in February. The commissioners approved the contract retroactively to Jan. 1, 2015.
  • Appointed Thi Synavone to fill a vacancy on the county’s Extension committee.
  • Approved a property tax abatement for Mark Janssen in Bigelow.
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