Yellow Medicine County Board considers ‘thorny’ issue

GRANITE?FALL – The Yellow Medicine County Board meeting room was fuller than usual at its regular meeting on Tuesday morning because of a thorny problem, Canadian thistle.

Yellow Medicine County resident Wesley Erickson spoke for about a dozen people attending the meeting and asked the county to consider spraying roadside ditches in the county for the invasive species more often.

Currently, the county spends about $30,000 per year on weed control, spraying different sections of the county on a four-year rotation.

The commissioners agreed to consider spraying on a two-year rotation, or perhaps even yearly, at a later date.

The board voted to approve the purchase of a Towmaster Trailer for the county highway department at a cost of $10,348. The trailer has a load capacity of 16,000 pounds and will be used to transport heavy equipment, such as skid loaders.

Commissioner John Berends informed the board he would have to abstain from voting on a request from the Granite Falls Fireman’s Relief Association for a gambling permit on Feb. 1 and asked that it be pulled from the consent agenda. Berends said the fund- raising function will be at Bootlegger’s Supper Club, which he owns.

The board voted to adopt a policy on extended foster care drawn up by Child Services Supervisor Mary Potter.

According to Potter, the policy is modeled on federal and state mandates, which require foster care be extended from age 18 to 21 in the case of eligible applicants.

The policy is intended to support young adults who have spent time in foster care and are not yet equipped to live independently. The county policy defines and prioritizes eligibility requirements, what other resources are available and what the county can do based on budget constraints.

Potter said the cost of the three-year commitment to the county is about $800 per month.

The board voted to accept a $4,148 state Department of Natural Resources/Federal Boating Safety Supplemental Equipment Grant to purchase four floodlights for the sheriff’s office’s boat.

  • The commissioners got their first look at 2014 budget figures presented by county Finance Manager Michelle May. According to May, current revenue levels will not cover projected expenditures, which would require a county levy increase of 7 percent.

“Obviously, that’s not going to happen,” May said.

The commissioners will start to consider budget-cutting measures at their next meeting in two weeks. The final budget does not have to be approved until December.