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HomeUncategorizedLake County Board Of Commissioners Meeting; August 22, 2023

Lake County Board Of Commissioners Meeting; August 22, 2023

Michelle McDonald, Executive Director for the Lake County Development Achievement Center, spoke with the Lake County Board of Commissioners last week, asking that the board consider dissolving the current contract that Lake County has with the organization. The DAC currently provides 11 employees who work at the Arrowhead Recycling Center on Recycling Center Drive in Two Harbors. DAC employees sort and prepare materials for sale that are brought to the Recycling Center. The DAC has partnered with the County for over 40 years and DAC employees perform import-ant tasks that serve the community. According to the Fair Labor Standards Act, employers are allowed to pay wages below the federal minimum wage to individuals with disabilities if the employer holds a 14C certificate from the Department of Labor. McDonald is asking for the County to hire the existing recycling center employees and pay them a wage that is more in line with what is competitive and typical for the labor market in Minnesota. If the County decides to agree to this plan, DAC will supply on site job coaches for the employees. The Commissioners did not take action on McDonald’s proposal but agreed to take it under consideration.

Christine McCarthy, Director of the Lake County Environmental Services Department, presented the Board with an overview of a potential updated comprehensive plan for the County. The plan was last updated in October of 2001. Objectives of the plan are to look at development and management of housing, transportation, public facilities, land use, water quality and energy in the county and balance future development with quality of life for area residents. McCarthy would like to establish an advisory committee made up of people from other cities and townships in Lake County, including county commissioners and representatives from the DNR so that all stakeholders have a voice in planning for the future. Additionally, McCarthy stated that a renewed comprehensive plan will open the door for the administrators to seek more grants to help fund county projects. Commissioners readily agreed that the comprehensive plan needs to be brought up to date and agreed to consider the proposal. McCarthy would like to start meeting with other leaders from other cities and townships to get their input on moving forward with comprehensive planning.

County Administrator, Matthew Huddleston mentioned in his report, that there are two vacancies on the Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) Board. He asked Commissioners to start to think about filling those positions. Huddleston would like the commissioner who sits on the HRA, to be a voting member. To date, the sitting Commissioner has not had a vote on the HRA Board.

The Board of Commissioners meet on the first and fourth Tuesdays of each month from 2 – 4 p.m. The next meeting is scheduled for September 5th and will be held in the Split Rock River Room at the Lake County Service Center, 616 3rd Avenue in Two Harbors.

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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