WORTHINGTON — In a special meeting Wednesday morning, Nobles County commissioners approved a short-term agreement with Rock County for engineering services during July and August.
The agreement states that Rock County Engineer Mark Sehr will perform engineering duties as required by the state’s transportation commissioner as of July 1. Nobles County Engineer Stephen Schnieder retired, and his last day in the position was Wednesday.
As part of the agreement, Nobles County will pay $5,500 per month for Sehr’s services.
While the county has advertised for an engineer, Administrator Bruce Heitkamp said there have been no applicants thus far. He also told commissioners he and Worthington City Administrator Steve Robinson spoke earlier this week about the potential of sharing a position. Worthington’s city engineer retired a year ago and, while the city has an acting engineer in the position, they are also having difficulty filling the job.
In other business, the board:
Received an update from County Recorder Thelma Yager regarding the increase in recording real estate documents in recent years. She would like to see a third employee added in her department, as well as some succession training.
“Other offices have busy times. We’re busy all of the time,” Yager said. “I hope that we can get some succession training. I’m not 20, and I’m not going to be here forever.”
Commissioner Donald Linssen encouraged Yager to reflect her needs in the department when she prepares her budget for next year.
“What you are asking for will make it more efficient,” he added.
The county is in the process of filling a full-time floater position to work in both the recorder’s office and the auditor-treasurer’s office/license center. The two previous floaters moved into full-time positions in the recorder’s office following the retirement of one employee and the death of another.
“These jobs take forever to learn — there’s no book; there’s no school,” Yager said. “I’m thankful I had the years of experience I did in the office (before being elected).”
Commissioner Justin Ahlers asked if the increased workload in the department was due to low mortgage rates, and if it could be a short-term problem.
“That could be part of it, but the city of Worthington is growing and we’re seeing more work,” Yager replied.
Received an update on the county’s request to Minnesota Management and Budget regarding funding for a sanitary sewer system in Reading. Heitkamp said the request will need to be amended to include a funding amount, as well as an explanation of the type of system to be installed.