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County board approves appointment to vacant seat

The Hubbard County Commissioners called a public hearing during Tuesday’s regular board meeting on July 5 to address the Hubbard County Board vacancy in District 2.

According to Minnesota statute with vacancies of less than one year the county board may appoint a person to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the term.

A public hearing must be held for the Board to invite public testimony from persons residing in the district. At the time former chairman Matt Dotta announced his resignation, Arago Township Chair Charlene Christenson had filed to run for District 2 during the general election unopposed.

It was recommended to the board that Christenson be considered to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the unexpired term.

During the public hearing several residents of District 2 spoke on behalf of Christenson while none spoke in opposition of her appointment.

County Attorney Don Dearstyne addressed the board saying, "I am a voter in District 2 and I would encourage the board to appoint Ms. Christenson. I know that she has done a good job on the Planning Commission as well as Arago Township and I think that she would be a good addition to the board, plus it would give both Todd and Arago representation for their voters. Even though the election would be in November it would still be six months without representation if the board doesn’t appoint."

He went on to say, "It would also possibly create difficulty for the board because you have a four-person board now if you don’t put a fifth person on the board you could have votes that end up two to two and tabling motions so I think it would be in the county’s best interest as well as District 2’s to appoint."

After listening to public testimony from several individuals county commissioner Cal Johannsen stated, "I think it’s very important for District II that they have somebody representing them at this time rather than sitting vacant, with that said I’m going to make a motion that we appoint Charlene Christenson to the District II County Commissioner seat."

The motion was seconded by County Commissioner Daniel Stacey and carried unanimously.

Christenson was sworn in as the new county commissioner by court administrator Camille Bessler.

The commissioners also elected Vern Massie as the new chairman and Cal Johannsen as vice-chairman.

In other business the County Board of Commissioners:

- Approved the low quote of $28,495 to acquire a new forklift for Solid Waste from Forklifts of North Dakota.

- Approved final payment to AAA Striping Service Co., for the amount of $46,804.87 for the county wide striping project pavement marking.

- Approved the purchase of technical equipment for vehicle analysis and troubleshooting in the amount of $9,899.

Public Works feels the purchase will save on time and money spent taking the big trucks to Fargo, ND every time a vehicle needs diagnostics, which is what they currently do.

- Approved an easement at no cost to the county for Potlatch to build a frontage road off of County Road 45 in Farden Township to get their trucks off the road that currently park along the shoulder causing a safety issue.

- Approved the Joint Powers Agreement with the State of Minnesota and Sentence to Serve for the contract period July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017 presented to them by Sheriff Cory Aukes.

- Approved a Conditional Use Application for a professional services business to operate a massage therapy business on 6th Crow Wing Lake which is a recreational development lake.

A massage therapy business falls under the "professional" services use category of the Shoreland Management Ordinance which requires a conditional use permit.

- Adopted a Resolution declaring Hubbard County’s intent to retain Hoffman, Philipp & Knutson, PLLC to perform its annual financial audit.

- Authorized the purchase of a 2016 Glaval Transit bus from Hoglund Bus in the amount of $78, 542.50 made from the state bid.

MnDot will be covering $59, 200 of the cost and Social Services will spend the rest out of their Transit Reserve Account in the amount of $19, 342.50

- Were informed about the confirmation of Social Services Director, Debra Vizecky’s acceptance of the position

- Reviewed the 2016 Committee List and appointed District II Commissioner replacements.

- Approved the option for corrective work to be done on the board room wood in the amount of $1,850 to come out of building maintenance funds.

- Authorized signature of Chairman and Coordinator of Satisfaction of Mortgage as recommended by the County Attorney.

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