County to create a septic advisory committee

Brian Larsen

In light of some of the conflict his department has had with septic installers over the last couple of years, Planning and Zoning Director Tim Nelson has been taking a more proactive approach to potential problems.

One approach, said Nelson to the county board at its April 21 meeting, might be to form a septic advisory committee. That committee, Nelson said, would review state and county policies as well as the rules and ordinances as they are being applied to Cook County and bring their recommendations back to the county board.

The commissioners commended Nelson on his approach and voted 5-0 to authorize Nelson to set up a committee.

What will it look like? Nelson was asked.

Nelson requested that the committee be diverse, and called for a wide range of people to serve on it. He asked that it be made up of two county commissioners, two planning commission members, two septic contractors, one member of a lake association, one Realtor, one citizen at large, the county environmental health officer and Nelson, who will be an ex officio.

Commissioners Frank Moe and Jan Sivertson agreed to sit on the committee with Garry Gamble serving as the alternate.

Nelson said it has become clear through several years of rule changes from the State of Minnesota, and multiple committee and task force efforts in septic ordinance development, that septic issues will continue to remain one of those issues that will require a more continued and constant level of focus in the county.

Currently the county has a committee that focuses solely on the ordinance development, but Nelson said, “I believe it is time to establish a standing committee that can address any changes to the state rules, or any possible issues that might need to be addressed through our local ordinances.”

Nelson suggested committee members serve one-year terms and act in an advisory role to the commissioners. Members could be sought from Realtor groups, septic installers and lists of people who have signed up for committees but haven’t been picked. Interested people who might want to serve on the committee could also contact him, he said.

Once members are found an organizational meeting will be held, Nelson said.

New deputy to be hired

With Deputy Dave Gilmore leaving to work in the Freeborn County Sheriff ’s Office, Cook County Sheriff Pat Eliasen asked for permission to advertise to fill the opening. Gilmore left on April 22. The board granted Eliasen’s request.

Next Sheriff Eliasen asked that the board appoint a commissioner to serve on the Northeast Regional Radio Board (NERRB).

NERRB has the responsibility to make sure the management, development, and administration of the Allied Radio Matrix for Emergency Response (ARMER) system in Cook County is in accordance with the public safety radio plan adopted by the statewide radio board under Minnesota statute.

Commissioner Jan Sivertson agreed to act as the board’s representative while Eliasen agreed to be her alternate.

American Legion Post 413

The board approved a request from American Legion Post 413 Commander Don Wilson for $300 that will be used to help pay for costs associated with the Memorial Day service held at the court house veteran’s memorial. According to state statute the county board can approve up to $300 for a post to help defray the expense of Memorial Day exercises.

Wilson will use the money toward replacement of U.S., Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine, Navy, Merchant Marine, POW, and Canadian flags. All told his list came to $581.03.

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