GRANITE?FALLS?- After a sometimes testy discussion, the Yellow Medicine County Board adopted redistricting and new term lengths for commissioners at its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday.
The board was required by law to adopt one of two proposed redistricting plans because of population shifts in Districts 1, 4, and 5, and to allocate two seats on the board for two-year terms and three for four-year terms.
District 3 Commissioner Gary Johnson objected to changing his term to two years.
"My district didn't change a bit, why should I have to run in two years," Johnson said.
District 4 Commissioner Ron Antony was adamant about not accepting any change.
"I will not vote any motion that changes (District) 1 or 4 to run two years," Antony said.
In the end however, it was settled amicably when District 1 Commissioner Greg Renneke agreed to accept a two-year term, and the other was assigned to District 2 currently vacant after the death of Commissioner Dick Wambeke.
"As far as my district is concerned, two years is fine with me," Renneke said.
At the request of Family Services Director Peg Heglund, the board voted a proclamation declaring May to be Foster Care Month, after proclaiming May to be Mental Health Month.
According to Heglund, there are only five families licensed for foster care in Yellow Medicine County, and three of them are only licensed to take in relatives.
Family Services would like to encourage more people to apply for and take the training for foster respite care, Heglund said.
The board also approved spending $18,000 to buy Family Services a new car and to offer the 2007 model the department is currently using to the Granite Falls Hospital for $1.
In a separate motion, the board approved $4,000 for a youth employment program managed by the Work Force Center to create jobs for disadvantaged youth.
In other business, the commissioners voted to confirm a $130,000 contract with K&K Tiling Inc. to repair tile lines draining into County Ditch 9 branch M about three miles south of Clarkfield.
On the recommendation of County Engineer Andy Sander, the board approved three bids for bridge replacement and road repair.
Riley Bros. Construction was the low bidder at $153,000 on a contract to replace bridges in Sioux Agency Township and Swede Prairie Township.
Duininck, Inc. won a contract for road improvements with a bid of $2,500,000, and R and G Construction Company won a road grading contract with a bid of $253,000.
The board also approved a motion to waive the 30-day comment period on a motion to change an economic development Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district in Canby into a soil correction TIF district.
The TIF district was originally approved for the Helena Chemical Company's proposal to expand its operation on the north side of Canby, investing about $4 million and creating six new jobs. While excavating for the expansion the company found underground soil problems and requested an expedited change of the TIF district, originally set for eight years, to the new classification which could provide tax relief for as long as two years.
While the board unanimously approved the request, Johnson moved to send the company a memo telling it not to let it happen again.
Property and Public Service Director Janell Timm informed the commissioners that the old movie theater in Clarkfield, which had been seized by the county for delinquent property taxes, had been razed and the lot cleared. At Timm's recommendation, the board approved a motion to offer the property to the city of Clarkfield for $1.