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January 21st, 2019 News

Dr. Snow is Back at MCMC!

County Medical Center in Slayton! His first day was Monday, January 14th. Dr. Snow will provide patient care in the clinic and fill the role as Chief Medical Officer (CMO). The CMO is responsible for establishing the standard of care throughout the enterprise, and engaging physicians and mid-level providers to reduce clinical variation and build common care pathways.

In addition to Family Medicine, Dr. Snow provides Dermatology/Cosmetics including laser treatments and Botox. He also provides endoscopies and colonoscopies. For an appointment with Dr. Snow please call 507.651.6153


MCC School Board Welcomes New Member Maddy Robinson

The Murray County Central School Board met on Monday, January 14th. It started with the re-organizational meeting portion. Present were Dan Woldt, Sue Streff, Lauren Biegler, Maddy Robinson, Tony Clarke, Robin Gilbertson. Officers elected for 2019:  Chairperson – Dan Woldt, Clerk – Lauren Biegler, Treasurer – Sue Streff, Vice-Chair – Tony Clarke. Meetings were set for the second Monday of the month at 6pm in the High School Library. Board compensation stayed the same at $70 per meeting. Board Chair will receive an additional $500 and Board Clerk will receive an additional $250. IRS mileage rate was matched to the IRS rate of .58 cents. Lisa Rademacher and Deb Bleyenberg were designated to perform the duties of treasurer and clerk. The Board’s legal counsel was kept the same and the committee assignments were reviewed.

The regular school board meeting continued. The agenda was approved, and the minutes and financials were reviewed and approved. The Board accepted the retirement of Kindergarten Teacher Karen Beers. They reviewed post experience reflections from Kristin Nau, Joe Biren, Claressa Kent, and Ashley Haken. Lane change requests came in from Adam Neubarth and Brenda Whitehead. Long term sub contract for Mark Holton in Christie Gergen’s position was approved starting Janaury 14th. They also approved the bus attendant contact for Jessica ThunderHawk. The Board thanked the following for  Donations: Slayton Building Materials: $40.19 to Kindergarten Santa’s Workshop, Page  One: newsprint to Kindergarten, Nobles Coop: $2500 scoreboard ad, Heartland Eye Care: $250 scoreboard ad, Murray County Health Alliance Foundation: $323.50 for AED Trainer, MSHSL Foundation: $940 Grant. Slayton Kiwanis: $100 for Rebel Cards and $128 to ECFE Transportation. Karen Torbert: $100 to past due lunch accounts, SRDC: $2100 to ECFE on Wheels. Anonymous donations: $90 for Student Activity Passes and $200 to past due lunch accounts.

There was no one present for the public forum.

Elementary Principal Todd Burlingame gave the Board an update on the past month. He reported on the spelling bee results. There were eight 4th grade participants and eight 5th/6th grade participants. Staff and students are busy getting ready for the MCA and NAEP testing. The 5th/6th grade activity night was a success. Thank You, Touch of Class and Sitt and Grinn Photo Booth. End of 2nd quarter will be January 18th. There is no school on Monday January 21st but preschool screening will be at West. January 28th. The Kindergarten registration letters will be sent out. Mark your calendars – February 1st the 1st graders will be singing the National Anthem at the Boys Basketball game.

Jacob Scandrett provided the Board with his secondary principal report. MCA’s will happen in April. Registration for the Fall 2019 semester will start in February. On January 21st motivational speaker Mark Lindquist will be present to 10 districts from SWMN. Snow Week is set for the week of January 28th. They are moving forward with the Intro to Medical Careers class. The activities update from Mr. Wajer reported the Winter activities are in full swing with Basketball, Wrestling, Speech and Knowledge Bowl all having busy schedules.

Superintendent Joe Meyer gave his report. He was happy to say the new 2019 Taurus had arrived and passed inspection. They will put the old one up for surplus. He is working with Pam on the bids for health insurance. This is done every two years and bids will be opened on March 28th. The facilities committee met and a list of needs and wants was created. The open house for the new addition brought a great turnout and he has been hearing very positive response. There appear to be 15-20 on average morning walkers. With the addition, 6 new security cameras were installed, a demonstration was given to the Board.

The first item of new business was a request from Mr. Harms and Mr. Freeman for a trip proposal for students. It would allow students to take a 4-day tour of Washington, DC with the suggested dates being in May 2020. The Board advised them they could move on to the next step and do a survey of students to gauge interest and hold an informational meeting. The Board next adopted the 2019-2020 school calendar. First day of classes would be September 3rd and 4th and the last day of classes would be May 27th.

Next on the agenda was a resolution allowing administration to make recommendations in reduction of programs and positions and reasons. This is a resolution the Board passes every year. It was approved.

There is one opening on the Southwest Regional Development Commission for Region 8. The Board is asked to help fill this vacancy with any recommendations.

The 2007 Ford Taurus Sable and an LG Convection Oven were declared surplus.

With no other business to discuss the meeting was adjourned. The next school Board meeting will be February 11th at 6pm.


Murray County Commissioners Not Sure Yet On County Coordinator or Administrator

The Murray County Commissioner met on Tuesday, January 15th. Present were Dave Thiner, Jim Jens, Dennis Welgraven and Lori Gunnick. The agenda was approved with additions and the minutes from the January 8th meeting were reviewed, corrected and approved. 

Heidi Winter was first on the agenda. She presented them with this week’s Auditor Warrants, and these were approved. She then presented them with the ditch bills. They were broken into two sets. The first being for JD 3 which is in the appeals process currently. Commissioners Jim Jens, Dave Thiner and Dennis Welgraven sit on this joint Board and voted in favor of paying the bills. The other bills were also approved for payment. The next item Winter had was a resolution supporting Area II Legislative Funding, this would increase back to $189,000 per year. The Board approved supporting this resolution. The last item Winter had was an addition for the Museum. They had received a grant to help pay for the track restoration project at End-O-Line Park. There was $4,617 dollars that was not used that needs to be returned. This request was approved by the Board.

Howard Konkol was next on the agenda. He presented the Board with one ditch inspection report for JD 27 in Lake Sarah Township. This was approved. He also updated the Board on a past project on CD 61. There had been an improvement on this ditch in 2016 and the landowner was advised to report crop loss over future years. The Board discussed and it was said that the landowner was paid damages according to the viewers report.

The next item on the agenda was a proposal from David Drown Associates to help with transition assistance and the filling of the coordinator position. The cost for this would be $26,000. The Board needs to decide if they are moving forward with filling the position as a coordinator or making the change to administrator. Board Chair Dave Thiner felt this wasn’t something the Board needed to spend money on and could do the hiring themselves. The Board has been told that it will take at least 6 months to properly find and hire for the coordinator/administrator position. Ronda Radke did provide the board with the savings they will see over the next months until the position is filled. A monthly savings of $7,607.60 which totals $45,645.60 over 6 months. Thiner felt the Board needed to hear the presentation by AMC about the difference between a Coordinator and an Administrator before they make any decisions on the David Drown Associates proposal. 

Michael Ladevich, MCMC CEO gave the Board an update on the hospital. They are making big changes in the billing department to help put the hospital in a better financial position moving forward. One of these changes is that people will notice that they now will pay their co-pay before seeing the providers. They are also changing the billing processes and working to increase patient traffic.

Justin Hoffmann was next on the agenda. He had a purchase request for a new Bobcat Skid-Steer with snow blower, root grapple bucket and auger drive unit. This came in $4,377.57 under budget. The Board approved this. He also requested to go out for bids for the Sundquist Park Grant Project on Lake Sarah. This includes a new bathroom, sidewalks, electrical, plumbing, and septic system. This was approved. They will open bids on February 19th at 9:30 am. 

Doug Pierson with the Murray County Food Shelf was present to give the Board an update and provide them with information on the happenings in the last year. They continue to see an increase in need with a 9.4% increase from the year before. The average food costs per person are estimated at $15.02 per visit and they reported the registered families receive about 90 lbs per visit. This includes vouchers for milk and meat at the local retail stores. 

There was no one present for open forum.

The two additions to the agenda included changing the board assignments for Welgraven, he was on both ACE and Rural Energy which meet at the same time. They gave ACE to Jim Kluis as his predecessor covered that meeting and Thiner became the alternate. Board Chair Dave Thiner wanted to discuss the topics for their work session, he would like to see these on the list: Highway Department Building, Parking Lot, Recycling Center, Primewest, License Center, and County Coordinator vs. Administrator. Commissioner Gunnink asked if anyone else could add to the list and would like to see training topics with AMC discussed as well. 

Randy Groves was next on the agenda. His first item was to sign the contract with Prahm Construction for SAP 51-599-103 bridge project. He also had a number of equipment purchase requests that were budgeted for this year. First was a Motor Grader with a packer for $343,415.50. Next was a Single Axle Truck Cab and Chassis with a dump box, hoist and fabrication for $98,939.20. Lastly was a moveable desk and mat for $680. The Board approved these purchases after some discussion about where they were coming from in the budget. Groves next had an Intergovernmental Cooperative Agreement for the Board to sign between Murray County and the City of Currie. The City of Currie will be doing a water/sewer main project this summer and the County would like to do road work on CSAH 38. This agreement allows them both to be done in one project with each party paying for their portion. The Board approved this. The last item Groves had was a Right of Entry Permit and Temporary Construction Easement to extend the sewer line to End-O-Line. Groves had received an estimate from the project manager for the amount of $76,556 to extend the sewer line up to End-O-Line Park. Commissioner Jens explained that they need to do something as the holding tanks will need to be replaced soon. Commissioner Thiner feels this isn’t an expense the County needs to take on and should just get a new tank. No action was taken, and Commissioner Jens will look into the cost of a new holding tank.

The last item on the agenda was a presentation by Ryan Erdmann with AMC along with Roxy Traxler, Sibley County Administrator. The goal of their presentation was to help educate the Board as well as the County staff on the difference between a County Coordinator and an Administrator and help answer any questions they have about the two position’s abilities.  The majority of counties in Minnesota operate with an Administrator. The obvious difference between the two is that the County Coordinator is just another department head where the Administrator oversees the department heads. Traxler explained that she has worked in both roles successfully. It’s just a matter of discovering what Murray County’s  needs are and moving forward accordingly. Board Chair Dave Thiner expressed his concern about getting someone in the position who doesn’t have the same vision as the Board. She explained that her role as Administrator is to support and implement the Boards decisions. It is important that the Board along with the individual are able to communicate well and work together. When questions were opened to the staff that was in attendance, Barb Lewis asked the Board to consider forming a work group to get feedback from the employees on this process. Mary Ellen Moline expressed to the Board that the County has good employees who want to help make this work if just given the chance and it’s not fair to them that a breakdown in communication from the previous coordinator reflect poorly on them as they were never given that opportunity. Winter explained that before a Coordinator had been hired, they had been able to successfully manager things. When the question was asked “who was your point of contact during that time” it was stated that HR was, and they felt things operated smoothly then. After an hour of information Erdmann and Traxler moved to a meeting room where they were willing to answer more questions by the staff and commissioners.

The Board readdressed the David Drown Associates agreement. Commissioner Gunnink feels they need to move forward to take some of the workload off of Radke. Board Chair Thiner feels it would be a slap in the face to employees to move forward with the agreement. Commissioner Welgraven wants there to be more discussion with employees to figure out the needs of the County first. A motion was made and seconded, the second was withdrawn and the motion failed. 

With no other business the meeting was adjourned.