5/21/2013 12:51:00 PM Dodge County welcomes new Director of Land Records
By Gretta Becay
At their meeting on May 14, 2013, the Dodge County commissioners welcomed Ryan DeCook as the new Director of Land Records for the county. At the beginning of the year, the commissioners had decided to merge the assessor's department and the recorder's department. The leaders of the two departments, Assessor Wendall Englestad and Recorder Sue Alberts, both retired in 2012.
DeCook is from Byron and graduated from St. Cloud State University. He had worked in Olmsted County as an appraiser in their land records office before taking this position.
Steele County Assessor Bill Effertz has served as county assessor since Englestad's retirement.
DeCook is married and has two young children; a 3-year-old daughter and a newborn son.
The commissioners also visited with Clint Patterson, the county's representative on the board of directors of Southeastern Libraries Cooperating/Southeast Library System - SELCO. The library in Hayfield does not belong to the group. Patterson's appointment to the board will expire this year and the commissioners decided to take further action about the appointment at a future meeting.
In other business, the commissioners approved the bituminous paving bid of $78,211 from Rochester Sand and Gravel to pave the driveway and unloading areas at the county transfer station.
The commissioners approved the Planning Commission recommendations for:
An interim use permit for a dwelling on less than 35 acres in the urban expansion district in Mantorville Township for Michael Marti as the applicant and Don Marti as the property owner.
An interim use permit for a limited rural business in the ag district on 10 acres in Ashland Township belonging to Keith Cooper.
The extensions of interim use permits for one year for Levi McNeilus and for Brian and Cassi Garness.
Sheriff Jim Jensen asked the commissioners for approval to apply for a three-year $125,000 COPS grant (Office of Community Oriented Policing Services) to help pay the expenses for another school resource officer in the county. At present, Jensen said, one person serves as the officer for both Hayfield and Triton school districts. He said both schools are interested in having their own.
The commissioners approved the application.
The commissioners also discussed the possibility of having electrical work done for the Historical Society by volunteer electricians.
Greg Nelson, chair of the Society explained to the commissioners that local companies have volunteered time and materials to connect the museum with the other two buildings owned by the group in the historic district of Mantorville.
In other business, the commissioners approved:
Accepting the donation of baby quilts and baby items from Bundles of Love, Oronoco, MN to the Public Health Family Health Program.
Accepting the donation of 50 handmade blankets from the Rochester/Southeast Minnesota Chapter of Project Linus for children the county may serve.
Awarding the bid for the reconstruction of county state aid Highway 24 between trunk Highway 56 in West Concord and county state aid Highway 22 in Concord to low bidder Mathiowetz Construction for $3,662,789.
The setting of dates to advertise and open bids at the discretion of the county engineer and administrator for the stabilization of a slope in Vernon Township along 720th St east of county state aid Highway 13.
At the end of the meeting, the commissioners again met in closed session to discuss purchasing the property at 721 Main St North in Mantorville. A letter from Dodge Center Mayor Bill Ketchum was in the packet of information provided to the commissioners encouraging them to consider expanding the county's facilities onto land the county already owns adjacent to the Fairview Care Center.
The group will meet again at 9:30 a.m. May 28 at the courthouse.