12/30/2013 4:22:00 PM Dodge County Commissioners
Plans for remodeling move forward Star Herald to be official paper for Dodge County in 2014
By Gretta Becay
Architect John McNamara of Wold Architects received approval from the Dodge County commissioners at their final meeting of the year Dec 24, 2013, for the schematic design for the remodel of the courthouse, annex, and the government services building, (the old Kasson-Mantorville middle school across Highway 57 from the courthouse). The remodeling costs are projected to be about $8.4 million.
Third Judicial District Judge Jodi Williamson attended the meeting and talked about the need for secure storage of evidence including large items such as vans, cars, boats, or other trailered items. She also talked about the requirement that an armed deputy be in attendance when court is in session.
Sheriff Jim Jensen spoke about the need for a dedicated conference room the department could use when, for example, deputies in full armored regalia gather prior to executing a search warrant. The fewer people that witness the deputies gathering, the more secure the operation remains, he said.
Building Operations Supervisor Roger Friedt talked about the need for new boilers in the government services building.
The commissioners approved the design with the understanding that they will continue to discuss these issues. The project is scheduled to begin in 2014 and wrap up in 2015.
Director of Land Records Ryan DeCook, walked the commissioners through a series of requests for tax abatements. These abatements involved the valuation of buildings. Two disaster abatements for the May 2 snowstorm and one for a building destroyed by fire were approved. A resident who had moved into assisted living received an abatement for a homestead that had been mixed up with Steele County.
The commissioners also approved:
A solid waste hauler's license for Hometown Haulers.
A 'Solar Rewards' contract with Xcel Energy for the 20-Kilowatt solar photovoltaic system at the county recycling center one mile north of Kasson on County Road 21. Environmental Services Director Mark Gamm presented the request and explained that the county will receive a one-time payment of about $31,000 to offset construction costs, and the current book rate of $.0913 per kilowatt hour for electricity the county does not use and that is sold to Xcel.
Salaries for county elected officials as follows: county commissioners, $18,842; county board chair, $19,389; county attorney, $45,206 (half-time); county sheriff, $91,234.
The Dodge Center Star Herald as the official newspaper for the county.
The appointment of Dan Kutzler to the Board of Adjustment for a three-year term beginning in January.
The commissioners will meet again at 9:30 a.m. Jan 7 at the courthouse.