Osakis Voices: Cost to clean ponds about $650,000
Update on the One Watershed One plan: Right after I submitted my last column, I received an email that the public meetings were going to be held Nov. 13-14 in Sauk Centre and Waite Park. I did attend the meeting in Sauk Centre. I felt the public turnout was low.
Managers from the Sauk River Watershed and members from the One Watershed One Plan Committee and a handful or so from the public were present. The firm RESPEC gathered information from the meetings and will compile the results. We will then have more public meetings to discuss the results. I attended the watershed meeting on Nov. 20 and was informed that they are working on cleaning out the sediment ponds north of Lake Osakis on Joint Ditch 2 again for a cost of around $650,000. If I research my records, the sediment ponds cost around $800,000 when first built. They did not have the assessment numbers per parcel for what we will be paying on our tax statements and for how many years.
The election results for Todd County commissioners had Kneisl and Kircher reelected. Also elected back in were the Auditor/Treasure Denise Gaida and County Attorney Chuck Rasmussen. Todd County will also have a new sheriff, Steve Och, and a new recorder, Linda Daoust. I would like to thank our outgoing Sheriff Don Asmus, who if you have never met him, is just a great person, and I am thankful I had the pleasure to work with him and wish him well in his retirement. Also retiring is our recorder, Cheryl Perish who has been with Todd County for 34 years. Cheryl sent me a little history. She started working in the recorder's office in 1978 as an employee of Dahlman Abstract Company. Fred Dahlman was the recorder/registrar of titles and had his private abstract company in the recorder's office. He paid the county rent to have his private company located in his recorder's office. During that time, Cheryl did deputy county work while learning how to abstract. In 1984, Cheryl applied for the vacant deputy recorder position and was hired as a county employee. In 1986, Cheryl won the election for county recorder/registrar of titles.
In county business, the board has not made a decision on the expo building yet. Our county based purchasing South Country Health Alliance, which purchases health care services for certain residents enrolled in Medical Assistance, General Assistance Medical Care and Minnesota Care of which there is a Joint Powers Agreement with 11 counties including Todd. I heard a rumor back in July for a cash call from the 11 counties to cover their debt. I asked our commissioner who sits on that board that question. He told me no. We both were on the County Financial Committee this year and if there is a cash call we need to budget for it. Well, guess what came out in our Nov. 5 meeting? South Country will possibly be doing a cash call and Todd County's payment could be over $500,000 and it is not budgeted for 2019.
Solid waste informed us that the tipping fees at both Morrison County landfill and the Prairie Lakes incinerator in Perham will be increasing. A gate fee (or tipping fee) is the charge levied upon a given quantity of waste received at a waste processing facility. The County Board would have to set and hold public hearings on this in order to increase the parcel fee, which is now at $46 and are requesting going to $48 per parcel. Also, the cost of disposing mattresses is going up. Todd County is looking it from $5 to $12. Tires would also increase from $3 for regular car tires and $6 with rim to $5 for regular car tires and $10 if it has a rim. Here is what some counties are charging:
County Tipping Fee Parcel Fee Mattresses
Otter Tail $108 $70 $24
Pope/Douglas $80.08 $99 Do not accept
Wadena $114 $60 $5
Clay $42 $42 $17
I never thought that garbage could be so costly. You can see it on your tax statement and also your garbage service that picks it up at your house. The Todd County Board will set the final 2019 budget on Dec. 17. I am working on setting up a round table discussion with Rep. Poston and Sen. Gazelka with the County Board on Dec. 27, before the 2019 session starts to discuss concerns pertaining to Todd County. In my next article, I will tell you what it is like being the 2018 chairperson of the County Board.
• • •
Osakis Voices is a rotating column written by community leaders who share their thoughts in their field of expertise.