YMC Board interviews courthouse architects

GRANITE FALLS – The Yellow Medicine County Board interviewed potential architects for new courthouse designs following its regular meeting Tuesday.

BKV Group of Minneapolis, Klien McCarthy Architects of Minneapolis and Wold Architects of St. Paul were interviewed by the board Tuesday afternoon. Construction manager Earl Fuechtman with Contegrity Group was on hand to help with the interviews. The board agreed to review the three companies and make its final hiring decision at its next regular meeting.

In other business, the board discussed the county’s 2015 budget. County Administrator Peg Heglund reported that the county banked roughly $1 million each year in 2009, 2010 and 2011, resulting in a large reserve fund.

In the past few years, the county has used those extra funds to pay off the Law Enforcement Center bond to avoid interest charges and other expenditures, causing its reserve funds to level out to a normal amount.

The board discussed but made no decisions on $663,607 in suggested appropriations. If the board approves the appropriations it would be a 0.538 percent increase from last year’s budget appropriations.

The 2015 budget levy that was discussed amounted to $9,467,209 – a 5.54 percent increase from 2014. General revenue funding totaled $5,092,845, – a 3.91 percent increase from last year; road and bridge funding totaled $2,489,162 – a 23.25 percent increase from last year; and human services funding totaled $2,052,975 – a 5.64 percent increase from last year. The board agreed to review the budget and table their decision until its next meeting.

A public hearing regarding an ordinance regulating public pools was held. No public comments were made, and the board unanimously approved the ordinance that allows Country Side Public Health to regulate and oversee the health and safety of public pools.

The board reviewed a request for funds from the Yellow Medicine County Historical Society. The society requested $5,000 toward upgrading its inventory and preservation technology. Jane Reminger, YMC Historical Society chairwoman, said the museum is in need of a new printer, laptop, camera and artifact inventory software to preserve the county’s history. Board member Ron Antony said the board has helped the society and similar organizations with building repairs and upgrades because the county owns the buildings, but he wasn’t sure about the county helping with equipment fees. The board tabled the decision until a later time.