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HomeNewsLake County Board of Commissioners Meeting; June 6th, 2023

Lake County Board of Commissioners Meeting; June 6th, 2023

Working behind The Scenes To Benefit Lake County’s Citizens.

What comes to mind when you think about the term public servant? Often, one may envi­sion folks like nurses, fire fighters, teachers, police officers and EMTs. In all likelihood, those employed as maintenance workers get overlooked when it comes to the idea of “public servant”. The fact is that mainte­nance workers play a vital role in keeping the County running and thereby bring stability to the lives of Lake County residents.

Curt Backen, Facilities Manager for the County updated the County Board of Com­missioners last Tuesday on the work that the staff of the Facilities Maintenance Depart­ment have focused on over the past year. The scope of the department’s work covers the entire county and includes keeping County owned properties maintained so the business of the County runs efficiently and effectively. This work includes, among many other tasks, roof repair and replacement, maintaining and upgrading HVAC systems, resurfacing park­ing lots that have deteriorated over the years and replacing conventional lighting in Coun­ty owned buildings with more efficient and cost effective LED lighting. Under Backen’s direction, the staff of Facilities Maintenance Department serves the residents of Lake County by helping make sure that County fa­cilities are safe and open to the public and in a literal sense, by helping to keep the lights on.

County Administrator Matthew Hud­dleston indicated that there are currently 6 or 7 permit requests for short term vacation rentals. STVRs have been a frequent topic of discussion in municipalities across the coun­ty as elected officials consider the pros and cons of vacation rentals and look into how best to regulate and manage their impact on permanent residents.

Technological advancements are coming to the county’s 911 system. The new technolo­gy will allow dispatchers to better pinpoint the location of those who call into the system for help. These improvements will enhance response times and will improve public safe­ty efforts. Commissioners are not sure, at present, what the costs of this will be to the county.

In recognition of the end of slavery, June­teenth (June 19th) will be observed as a public holiday in Minnesota, starting this year. Pub­lic offices will be closed on the 19th.

Rick Evans
Rick Evans
My wife, Marsha Kinzer (a proud DEHS Greyhound, class of ‘77) introduced me to the North Shore on vacation in 2012. It became our regular escape when the stress of our careers in education became overwhelming, and it didn’t take me long to fall in love with the breathtaking scenery, the nice people, and “salad” containing Jell-o and marshmallows. So you can either blame or thank my loving wife for my being here, because when we needed to choose a retirement hometown, Marsha advocated hard for her beloved Duluth, and here we are, six months later. Yes, this will be my first northern Minnesota winter. Yes, I welcome thoughts and prayers. Government, public policy, and social justice weighed heavily in the curriculums I taught at the high school level over a thirty-eight year career. In addition, we were a laboratory school focused on critical thinking in conjunction with technical and scientific writing. So when I found myself adrift on the great ocean of retirement and spied a raft, I jumped at the chance to take up what I’d left behind…minus the bad teachers’ lounge coffee. My position at the NSJ allows me to combine my passions for government and writing, and it’s helping me to feel less out of touch in new surroundings. When I’m not being “Cubby” (Marsha’s favorite new nickname for this green reporter) I enjoy pointing at eagles and saying, “Look, honey. There’s an eagle.” I’ve had an active side hustle as a professional musician for almost as many years as Charlie Parr. As a guitarist/singer/songwriter, I graced the stages of clubs and festivals around southern Wisconsin, including an appearance on A Prairie Home Companion. Should I even mention A Prairie Home Companion, or am I the only one here old enough to remember what that is? Look! An eagle!
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