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Swearing-in ceremony precedes Nobles County Board’s first meeting of 2017

WORTHINGTON -- Following the swearing-in ceremony for newly-elected Nobles County Commissioner Justin Ahlers, re-elected commissioners Bob Demuth Jr. and Matt Widboom, and reappointed Nobles County Assessor Val Ruesch Tuesday morning, the board o...

WORTHINGTON - Following the swearing-in ceremony for newly-elected Nobles County Commissioner Justin Ahlers, re-elected commissioners Bob Demuth Jr. and Matt Widboom, and reappointed Nobles County Assessor Val Ruesch Tuesday morning, the board of commissioners breezed through a light agenda in just 40 minutes. Donald Linssen was elected 2017 board chairman, with Demuth elected vice-chair.

Among the board’s first duties of 2017 was to recognize Gary Larson, facilities maintenance lead, as December’s Excellence in Performance Award recipient; and present a certificate of appreciation to Donna Clarke for her more than nine years of service as an eligibility worker with Community Services. Clarke will retire Jan. 31.

Moving into the business portion of the meeting, the board:

  • Approved a request for a second driveway entrance to a parcel on Nobles County 14 at the edge of Reading. The second driveway was requested to gain access to a farm field surrounding a homestead occupied by a different individual. This parcel’s location at the edge of town, proximity to a church and the presence of children at the homestead were cited as reasons for granting the permit.

“It’s a huge safety concern to be moving equipment on a city street and close to a church like that,” said Ahlers.

  • Authorized final payment of $134,477.12 to R&G Construction, Marshall, for completion of a contract for work on Nobles County State Aid Highways 10 and 35 in the city of Worthington.

  • Approved the advertisement for bids on the bituminous paving projects planned in 2017, and set the bid opening for 1:30 p.m. Feb. 6. Nobles County Public Works Director Stephen Schnieder said the communities of Bigelow, Round Lake and Leota have requested to do some bituminous paving on the contract. Those cities have the option of removing their work from the bid if the prices in the winning bid are too high.

  • Accepted the low bid of $6,390 from Mid-States Asbestos Removal, Davis, S.D., for removal and disposal of asbestos material in the tile floor of the Adrian Branch Library. This work will be completed before the contractor comes in for the renovation project. Bids for the renovation are scheduled to be opened Jan. 12.

  • Approved a five-year contract renewal between the Nobles County Assessor’s Office and Vanguard Computer Systems for continued access to software. The contracted price is $9,775 per year.

  • Approved a contract renewal between Community Services and the Southwest Minnesota Opportunity Council (SMOC) Community Connectors Outreach to assist with coordination of well-child services to qualified families of Nobles County in 2017.

  • Approved housekeeping items for 2017, including setting the annual operating rules and guidelines, board of commissioners meeting dates, the county fee schedules and board appointments. In addition, they approved designating the Daily Globe as the county’s 2017 legal newspaper.

  • Approved the appointments of Jeff Barber, Worthington, to the county’s Joint Planning Commission; Brent Feikema, Lismore, to the Planning Advisory Commission; and John Penning, Wilmont, to the Zoning Board of Appeals. In addition, Brenda Baerenwald, Brewster, was reappointed to the county’s Extension Committee.

  • Granted department heads the authority to fill positions within their department, as long as the position stays within the same criteria.

  • Was notified each commissioner must complete Board of Appeal and Equalization training and certification online by Feb. 1.

  • Announced a public hearing will begin at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Farmer’s Room of the Nobles County Government Center, 315 10th St., Worthington, on the proposed issuance of Capital Improvement bonds.
Julie Buntjer became editor of The Globe in July 2021, after working as a beat reporter at the Worthington newspaper since December 2003. She has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism from South Dakota State University.
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