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.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


The new year is here and it presents many new opportunities for Nicollet County. I would like to take this opportunity to share some of the accomplishments of the various county departments during the last year. The list is long and I have chosen to highlight only a few from each department.County employees are to be thanked for their work and they can feel good about their accomplishments.

Social Services: Started a Mom’s Off Meth (MOM’s) group, which will be funded by the Nicollet County Family Service Collaborative. We may be the first county in Minnesota to start a MOM’s group. A transition apartment has been established for those adults with serious and persistent mental illness who are homeless or in need of immediate housing. The department has implemented a Child Support Contempt process and have been successful in getting more child support payments from the non-paying obligors.

Veteran’s Service: There was an 18.7% increase over last year in the amount of federal dollars that are coming to Nicollet County from VA Compensation, Pension, and other VA programs. For the period October 5 through September 6, $3,580,000 was received. There are 1046 active veteran files in Nicollet County.

Emergency Management: Published a newspaper flier on family preparedness and distributed to all households in Nicollet County. Held one full-scale disaster exercises and two tabletop exercises.

Assessor: Valued and added more than 54.5 million dollars of new construction in Nicollet County. Approximately 1,500 transfers/splits/changes in property ownership and/or legal description changes were processed.

Office of Technologies: Voicemail was implemented throughout the Government Center and the Sheriff’s complexes.

Public Works: Built a new maintenance shop in Lafayette. It replaced a building that was 67 years old. Many highway projects were completed including county road 63 and two sections of county road 5. An addition and enclosure were erected at the Seven Mile Creek Park’s Middle shelter.

Facilities Maintenance: Three employees have completed boiler licensing and upgrades. Continued Safety Program involvement, inspections, compliance and repair lists.

Environmental Services: Supervised the installation of 91 new and upgraded septic systems. Performed 73 feedlot inspections and have issued 28 feedlot permits. There have been 183 total land use permits issued with a valuation of $11,679,795 on the building permits.

Public Health: A Harvard Study found that Nicollet County was the Minnesota County with the longest longevity in Minnesota at 81.1 years (14th county in the country) generating positive media exposure from KARE 11, WCCO, and KEYC for the County and Public Health. WIC now serves more than 800 participants per month compared to the 750 range last year.

Assistant to the Administrator: Developed and implemented a Family and Medical Leave Act Policy. Completed volunteer committee review and received Board approval of Nicollet County Personnel Rules and Regulations, which is typically done every three to five years.

Auditor-Treasurer: Acquired HAVA grants in the amount of $232,960 and $87,000 to be used to purchase election equipment. The election brought 1,100 absentee ballots and a 75% turnout at the polls. The election results were posted on our website and we had 1,500 hits on the site on election night. We are presently reworking the investment policy for the county.

Probation: Started women’s specific programming and group in 2006. Project Nighthawk and the Cognitive Skills classes are being continued.

Brown-Nicollet Community Health: developed a new Public-Health Nuisance database. Involved in the declaration and cleanup of two Clandestine Drug Lab sites. Held the 7th Annual Children’s Water Festival for all area fourth graders.

Tri-County Solid Waste: Served 810 residents with household hazardous waste disposal and held a special collection in the City of Nicollet.

Recorder: Completed the project: Wall of County Recorders. Pictures have been obtained and displayed of former County Recorders/Register of Deeds.

Sheriff: Have added the K-9 unit and “Drago” is working well for Nicollet County. Received grant funds to update defibrillators. end


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