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County board reorganizes for 2018

Owen Miller

A new year means a new board chair for the Douglas County Board of Commissioners. After a motion was made by Commissioner Jerry Rapp and a second was made by Commissioner Keith Englund, Commissioner Owen Miller was elected to take over as board chair.

Miller replaces Commissioner Jim Stratton, who served as the chair for both 2016 and 2017.

Rapp represents the city of Osakis and Osakis Township as District 3 commissioner. The district also includes the cities of Miltona, Nelson and Carlos and the townships of Miltona, Spruce Hill, Orange, Carlos and Belle River.

The county board took action on several other items during its organizational meeting and special meeting, which both took place Tuesday, Jan. 2:

• Approved Keith Englund as vice chair and appointed Douglas County Coordinator/Human Resources Director Heather Schlangen as the board's secretary/clerk.

• Approved meeting dates and times for the 2018 calendar year.

• Approved committee meetings for the commissioners.

• Approved the Echo Press as the official newspaper of the county for publication of all its required legal notices.

• Approved financial institutions as depositories and/or investment brokers of funds for Douglas County during the upcoming year.

• Approved a bid from Shutter's Tire and Auto for the vehicle maintenance of Douglas County vehicles.

• Approved paying yearly dues to the National Association of Counties, $720; Association of Minnesota Counties, $15,775; and Minnesota Rural Counties Caucus, $2,700.

• Approved a resolution setting minimum salaries for elected official if a vacancy occurs with any of the current elected officials. This does not affect the four current elected officials, including the county attorney, sheriff, auditor/treasurer and recorder.

• Approved the 2018 contract between the county and Lakes Area Recreation for lease of recreational facilities in the Douglas County Services Center. The contract states LAR will pay the county $30,000.

• Approved a grant applicant to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture to help combat two noxious weed and invasive plants that have been found in Douglas County — Oriental Bittersweet and Common Tansy.

Celeste Edenloff

Celeste is a reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press and has lived in the Alexandria Lakes Area since 1997. She first worked for the Echo Press as a reporter from 1999 to 2011, and returned in June 2016 to report on the community she calls home. Besides writing articles for the Echo Press, she has a blog, “Newspaper Girl on the Run.” Celeste is on a continuous healthy living journey and loves to teach bootcamp fitness classes and run. She has participated in nearly 200 races with her husband, Al, covering the 5K, 10K, 10-mile and half-marathon (13.1 mile) distances.

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