Tara Solem, Manager for the Lake County Soil and Water Conservation District, appeared before the Lake County Board of Commissioners last week to share a summary of the SWCD’s work over the past year. The Lake County SWDC works to improve and ensure the health of the soil, water, and other natural resources in our area. County SWDCs function as political subdivisions of the State with certain powers and duties. These include, but are not limited to, conducting resource surveys, carrying out soil and water conservation measures with the consent of property owners, developing comprehensive and annual management plans to address issues like erosion control, invasive species mitigation, and fire risk management.
The SWDC works to manage the five (5) watersheds in Lake County. Their emphasis has been to collaborate with local governing bodies and surrounding counties to manage these watersheds and show results for that effort. In addition, the LCSWDC hosts outreach programs for area schools by sponsoring an Envirothon event that allows students to learn about resource conservation in the areas of aquatics, soils, forestry, wildlife and a “topic of the year”. The topic for 2023 was “Adapting To A Changing Climate”. The SWDC also assesses septic systems and when repairs are called for, helps property owners acquire grant funding to help with the expense of upgrades.
County Administrator Matthew Huddleston updated the Board on the current status of the funds that the County has committed to the Two Harbors Housing and Redevelopment Authority. That funding is temporarily on hold while the city and county HRAs work together to clarify their needs and goals. A joint meeting for both HRAs is scheduled for January 18th.
Capital Days in Saint Paul are scheduled for March 5th through 7th. Capital Days is an annual event where local elected officials meet with State officials to talk about the concerns and needs of the residents of Lake County. A “Sessions Priorities” event, sponsored by the State Chamber of Commerce, is scheduled for February 12th. Members of the County Board will be attending both events.
Area residents should know that workers from the County are currently making assessments and may be seen on your property. Assessors should be wearing clothing that clearly identifies them and they will be knocking on doors to let property owners know they are present. Assessors will also leave a card at the front door of the properties they are visiting.
The Board voted to approve the probationary appointment of Pierce Risdon to the position of Deputy Sheriff, effective January 22nd. They also authorized salary increases for 2024, for the County Attorney, County Auditor, County Recorder and County Sheriff at $127,000, $104,000, $87,000 and $115,000, respectively.
The next County Board meeting is scheduled for January 23rd from 2 to 4 p.m.