Acting on the advice of the county attorney at the Douglas County Board meeting Tuesday, the commissioners declined to take up the issue of the county becoming a “Second Amendment sanctuary.”

The item was added to the Feb. 3 agenda as an informational item after a person asked the commissioners to weigh in on the topic. That individual, however, did not show up at the meeting.

Second Amendment sanctuaries refer to states, counties or other localities that have adopted laws or resolutions to prohibit or impede the enforcement of certain gun control measures perceived to violate the Second Amendment, such as universal gun background checks, assault weapon bans and more.

Last month several Minnesota legislators wrote a letter to the Sherburne County Board asking its commissioners to designate the county as a “Second Amendment sanctuary.” No county in Minnesota has done so.

On Tuesday, Douglas County Attorney Chad Larson advised the Douglas County commissioners to refrain from taking a position on the topic.

County Board Chairman Keith Englund was thankful for Larson’s recommendation, saying he was a little nervous about the topic and didn’t want to get in the middle of it.

The board did not discuss the issue or take a stance on it, heeding Larson’s recommendation.

Mountain bike grant

Douglas County Park Superintendent Brad Bonk provided information to the commissioners about a $90,000 anonymous donation for the development of mountain biking trails at Lake Brophy County Park and Kensington Rune Stone Park.

He said the donation would be split, with $50,000 going to Brophy and $40,000 to Kensington. The donation would help the county get grant money because it would have matching funds from the donation.

Despite the generous donation, Bonk said the county would still need to put in about $40,000 toward the trails. Those funds are available in his budget, Bonk told the commissioners.

He said having the county allocate $40,000 to leverage about $230,000 in funding seemed like a good deal.

Bonk said he would bring the donation and grant applications back to the board for approval at a later date, but just wanted to get their blessing before he started writing the grants. He received the go-ahead.

Chippewa County Park

Bonk did ask for approval to hire Hagstrom Engineering to complete the master plan for Chippewa County Park. The commissioners approved it at a cost of $18,480.

The master plan is expected to be done in early May and will include an open house for public input. A date has not been set yet for the open house.

The Alexandria engineering firm will take a look at the park, including the campsites, the newly-acquired land, existing structures, parking, pathways, drainage and more.

The master plan will help the county figure out future plans for the park, which includes adding playground equipment, a possible storm shelter and dump station for the campground.

Bonk said he plans to write grants for the park, but that it is hard to go after grants without a plan.

In other action

The Douglas County Board of Commissioners approved the following other actions:

  • Fill a part-time position at the library. The person will work on programming for teenagers.

  • Contract with Newman Signs, Inc. for $17,087 for highway sign materials.