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, December 16, 2009

QUESTIONS ABOUT NICOLLET COUNTY

Recently I received an inquiry about Nicollet County. Amy Stroh, a student at St. Cloud State University needed information for a paper about St. Peter and Nicollet County. Her request is below, followed by the answers I provided.

Hello Judy,
My name is Amy Stroh and I am a student at Saint Cloud State University. I am currently writing a paper about Saint Pete and Nicollet County. I was wondering, if you had time, if you could just answer a few question to make my paper more precise.
1) Who, within Nicollet County, has the power and control to in terms of making decisions for the city of Saint Peter, or Nicollet County in general?
2) If any, dose Nicollet County or Saint Peter have a reputation for anything?
3) Are there any issues that Nicollet County or Saint Peter dealing with now?
Thank you for your time
Amy Stroh

Amy:
1. Nicollet County is one of 87 counties petitioned for and set up by the state of Minnesota. The county was formed in 1853. Counties are an arm of state government. We perform the duties of the state of Minnesota on the local level. Our powers are limited to ONLY THOSE ALLOWED BY THE STATE OF MINNESOTA. In other words, we need a state statute in place to do the work we do.
The county board makes decisions to allow the workings and operations of the county. However about 65% of those decisions are mandated by state statutes and rules. (i.e. doing the work of the state government at the local level).

Cities are a completely separate unit of government and set up under separate statutes and follow completely different rules and guidelines.

2. Does Nicollet County have a reputation for anything? My answer to this is three fold.
a. Agriculture. In September 2005, Farm Futures Magazine ranked Nicollet County 75th on a list of the 100 most profitable farming counties in the nation. Nicollet County was the ONLY Minnesota county to make the list.
b. Education. Nicollet County and St. Peter are the home of Gustavus Adolphus College, a highly reputable four year liberal arts college. North Mankato is the home of South Central Technical College
c. Business and Industry. Taylor Corporation is headquartered in North Mankato.
d. Natural Resources-Swan Lake is North America's largest "Prairie Pothole". Nicollet County has more miles of the Minnesota River than any other county.

3. Issues: Because counties have such a close relationship with state government, the major issue at this time is the state budget deficit.
Sincerely,
Judy Hanson, Nicollet County Commissioner

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