Driving County Roads

An on line journal sharing my views. The content reflects my background as a rural person employed in agriculture and as a retired elected official of local government.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Report on September 26 meeting
First Time In Thirty Years
The number thirty was used in a couple of good ways at the September 26 meeting of the Nicollet County Board of Commissioners. Mr. Robert Bruns, our county Auditor/Treasurer reported that the thirty day time period of appeal had passed and that the board authorized improvement project for County Ditch 29 (Traverse township) will be going forward. On August 22, the board of commissioners accepted the report of the viewers, and of the appointed engineer in regard to this drainage system improvement. This was an historic action as there have been no improvement projects undertaken in Nicollet County for over thirty years. No doubt many more improvements will be forthcoming as aging drainage systems will need to be brought into the 21st Century. This project has not been an easy one to get done as the action started over ten years ago and met many roadblocks along the way. With good weather, it may be possible for construction to get started this fall.
Driving Thirty Years
On Tuesday, our senior services coordinator Sylvia Perron, reported that the Nicollet County Transportation Program has been in existence for thirty years. This is a volunteer program where drivers are solicited to transport elderly and/or disabled folks to clinics, doctors, dentists, trips to grocery/pharmacy etc. (Drivers are reimbursed at the IRS rate per mile with funds coming from donations by riders and the difference is made up from county levy dollars.) In the thirty years of the program, 1,700,000 miles have been driven. There have been 116,000 round trips for a total of 135,000 hours donated. Ms. Perron is always looking for people interested in volunteering their time to drive. If you are interested call the Nicollet County Court House and ask for Sylvia Perron. The number at the Court House is 507-931-6800.
School Social Workers = Improved Student Behavior
The Nicollet County Social Services Director, Joan Tesdahl attends every meeting of the Nicollet County Board. Various members of her staff join her at each meeting. On Tuesday, we heard from the school Social Workers. We have three social workers who are funded 50/50 between the school districts and the county. Two work in the St. Peter Schools, and one works in the Nicollet School district. These folks work with students who have been identified by their classroom teachers as needing a little bit of extra attention. This early intervention approach saves money in the long term.
Sometimes It Isn’t Easy Being a Kid
Working with problems when they are small can keep them from becoming large and keep individuals out of the social services system when then reach adulthood. Some areas they work in are: social/friendship skills, anger management, grief support, family change, behavior management, crisis support, self esteem issues, academic success, and mental health needs. Today our students have to contend with divorces, drug problems, bullying, and pressures to "fit-in". Some extra help from the social workers can be a big benefit so they can then relax and concentrate on classroom work.Other activities include an after school club and a summer camp. The social workers commented that many children are affected by the war our country is engaged in. "Even if it is not their Mom or their Dad that is involved, they have friends or uncles, aunts who are serving and it affects them." end


At Wednesday, October 18, 2006 11:42:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is unusual that there have been no improvements in all of these past years.


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