Where do I go for…?
#LSN_News #LSN_MNNews #LSN_CookCounty #LSN_PublicSafety COOK COUNTY, MINNESOTA - July 8, 2019 (LSN) The recent change in location of motor vehicle services in Grand Marais has brought up similar questions about the location of other public services.
MN counties provide many services that support healthy communities including; public transportation and infrastructure, public safety, public administration and elections. Minnesotans depend on counties to provide the services that build, maintain and protect their homes, schools and neighborhoods. Counties are also a critical player in America’s intergovernmental system of federal, state and local governments.
Services available in the Cook County Courthouse can be broken down into a few major categories; taxpayer services, County Board of Commissioners, Court Administration and Probation, Public Health and Human Services and other public services.
Taxpayer services comprise everything a property owner would need to know when purchasing or owning property in Cook County. When you initially purchase property, that purchase is recorded in the Recorder’s Office. If you want to build on the property or need to install a new septic system or make some other improvement to the property, you will need to get a permit from Land Services. Your property will be assessed for classification and value at least once every five years by the County Assessor’s office. And of course, property taxes are paid annually in the Auditor’s office.
The Cook County Board of Commissioners meets on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month. Agendas and minutes are prepared for each meeting and are made available on the county web site. Citizens wishing to add business to the agenda may make such a request at the Administrator’s office.
Court Administration and Probation work closely with the County Attorney’s Office on civil, family, criminal cases. While court administration and probation staff are located in the courthouse, they are employed by the State of Minnesota.
Other public services include veterans’ services, GIS services, election administration and civil records. The Veterans Service Office is located on the second floor of the courthouse and serves as an advocate for veterans to the US Department of Veterans Affairs and the MN Department of Veterans Affairs. Help is available to determine eligibility and to aid with paperwork for accessing veterans’ services.
GIS services including taxpayer and parcel information are primarily available through the county website. GIS data is updated periodically and is used by many county departments to support efficient and accurate access to property boundaries and characteristics. Local elections are managed by the Auditor’s Office. Local election judges are a key component to ensuring fair and accurate results. In addition to property records, the Recorders office has access to all Minnesota birth and death records. Additionally, they can issue State of Minnesota marriage licenses and provide support to search archives for property, and civil documentation in the county. Passport photos and application paperwork, notary services and county plat books are available in the Auditor’s Office.
Central/internal services provide support for the staff and programs that the county is responsible for. These include IT support, human resource administration, accounting and internal controls and building maintenance to more than one hundred staff and more than 70,000 square feet of buildings throughout the county.
For more detailed information on county services please refer to the county website. Many online services are also available on the website such as property tax payments, land use permit applications and property records searches that provide access after office hours.
County Connections is a column on timely topics and service information from your Cook County government. Cook County – Supporting Community Through Quality Public Service.