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January 9th Board of Commissioners Meeting Highlights

Gun Flint Trail Fire Department  Lake Superior News

COOK COUNTY, MINNESOTA January 9, 2018 –   (LSN)  Following are highlights and key priorities covered at the Tuesday, Jan. 9 Board of Commissioners Meeting:

Public Comment Period
No citizens were present

Consent Agenda
All items were approved

  • Claims
  • Board Minutes for December 19, 2017
  • GIA Trail Permit
  • Resolution for County Park
  • Temporary GIS Worker


Assessor Todd Smith brought three property abatements to the Board. Abatements are typically record corrections due to errors or to changes in classification that may have missed a deadline. Abatements approved by the Board today:

  1. Grand Portage Band land which was incorrectly classified as taxable in previous years.
  2. Incorrect classification of Dept of Agriculture Land changed to taxable. 
  3. Homestead timing correction - changed one homestead to new one in same year. 


Fire Department Relief Association Appointees

Two members of each of the four Fire Departments in the unorganized areas of the County are appointed to the Fire Department Relief Associations:

  • Gunflint Trail - John Bottger and Fred Smith
  • Maple Hill - Jed Smith and Ashley Curtis
  • Colvill - Clark Bloomquist and Kim Linnell
  • Hovland – Representatives to be determined based on submissions to be received.

Extension Committee Appointees

The County Board must appoint two County Commissioners to serve on the Extension Committee for a term of three years, appointed Commissioners:

  • Jan Sivertson
  • Myron Bursheim

Gunflint Trail Fire Department Sponsorship Agreement

Approve sponsorship Agreement with the Gunflint Trail Volunteer Fire Department for an estimated cost of $200,000 for purchase of an ambulance. The County will be the fiscal agent for a small part of the revenue from Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan.

Federal- Aid Funds – Transportation Projects

The Board approved a resolution regarding an agreement with the Commissioner of Transportation to be appointed as Agent of Cook County to accept Federal-aid funds which may be made available for eligible transportation related projects.

Labor Negotiations

Labor Negotiations have reached agreements with the LELS and 49ers bargaining units. 

  1. List of provisions for the LELS: 
    1. Three-year contract
    2. Adoption of the recommendations of the Keystone Class/Comp study and the proposed wage scale, 2.5% in each of the three years
    3. Change in cost-share for health benefits to 80/20
    4. Addition of a longevity incentive for 10, 15 and 20 years of service, modification of shift differential and special duty pay for Field Training Officer (FTO) hours and synchronization of Paid Time Off (PTO) accrual schedules.
  2. List of provisions for the 49ers:
    1. Three-year contract,
    2. Adopted the recommendations of the Keystone study in 2017, 2.5% in each of the three years,
    3. Change in cost-share for health benefits to 80/20,
    4. Addition of a longevity incentive for 10, 15 and 20 years of service, modification of modification of call-in-pay for Sundays and holidays, and synchronization of PTO accrual schedules.

Four employees will now be in the Non-Union Confidential employee list:

  • Rebecca Isbell, Taxation Specialist/Bookkeeper – Auditor's Office
  • Lisa Sorlie, Accountant – Highway Department
  • Sara Hadley, Executive Administrative Assistant – Public Health & Human Services
  • Melissa Rexrode, Sheriff’s Technician – Cook County Sheriff’s Office

Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA)

Adjustment to wages to reflect the 2.5% COLA increase and longevity for the Non-Union employees was also approved.

Highway Department Maintenance Supervisor

A letter was read by County Administrator Jeff Cadwell regarding employment of former Highway Maintenance Supervisor Russell Klegstad. The Board declared the vacancy of the Maintenance Supervisor position and approval to advertise the vacancy.

National Association of Counties (NACo) Legislation Conference

The NACo Legislation Conference which will be held in Washington DC, March 3-7 this year, will be discussed at the Jan. 23, 2018 meeting.

Full details of Board Meetings are available through video footage, Agendas and Minutes at County Board and Committee of the Whole Meetings are open to the public.