• 34°

3 new county commissioners now on board

Shoff elected board chairman

The Freeborn County Board of Commissioners had three new faces at its virtual meeting Tuesday, after the new members were sworn in Monday during a special meeting.

Brad Edwin

Now in place are 1st District Commissioner Brad Edwin, 3rd District Commissioner John Forman and 5th District Commissioner Ted Herman. The men were elected to their seats in November.

The board on Tuesday voted to elect 4th District Commissioner Chris Shoff as board chairman for the year and 2nd District Commissioner Dan Belshan as vice chairman.

Shoff will lead the board meetings for the year.

John Forman

Shoff and Belshan welcomed the new commissioners, and Belshan said he looked forward to working with them.

In other action, the board:

• Approved a purchase of service agreement between the Freeborn County Human Services Department and the South Central Community-Based Initiative.

Human Services Director Suzi Nerison said the agreement is regarding mental health services in the county, including case management, community support programs, community mental health therapy, flexible spending, psychiatric services and certain administrative costs.

Ted Herman

The total of services to be purchased by the 10-county initiative from the Mental Health Center of Freeborn County is about $586,000.

• Renewed a contract with Workforce Development Inc. to provide employment and training services and family stabilization services for county residents enrolled in the Minnesota Family Investment Program and Diversionary Work Program.

The cost totals about $416,000. The services are mandated by the Minnesota Department of Human Services, and the county receives grant dollars to cover the costs.

• Approved the banks the county will do business with in 2021.

Freeborn County Auditor-Treasurer Pat Martinson said new this year was Moreton Capital Markets out of Excelsior.

• Approved an appropriation of $2,215 for a 2021 change fund/impress cash fund. The action is done annually and also outlines the custodians of these funds for the departments.

• Approved a resolution allowing payment of certain incidental expenses, such as utilities, fuel, freight, contractual, postage, discounted early payments, legal services fees, fees for documents needed as evidence and action taken as fiduciary for the county, prior to a regular board meeting. This action is approved annually.

• Approved establishing a county absentee ballot and mail ballot board in the event of a special election this year.

• Appointed the Albert Lea Tribune as the county’s official newspaper for purposes of publishing legal notices.

• Appointed the commissioners to committees through the Association of Counties. Edwin will serve on the general government committee, Forman will serve on the health and human services committee and Herman will serve on the public safety committee. Belshan will remain on the environment and natural resources committee, and Shoff will be on the transportation committee.

The board will vote on a full list of additional committee assignments at its next meeting.

• Set board meetings for the first and third Tuesday of each month for 2021. The meetings will start at 8:30 a.m. as in the past.

• Placed Phil Wacholz, county engineer and director of public works on regular full-time status. He started June 29 and successfully completed his probationary period.

• Appointed Harry Nyenhuis to a three-year term to the Freeborn County Extension Services Advisory Board through Jan. 1, 2024.

• Accepted a $300 donation from the Glenville Round Prairie Lutheran Church Women to the Crime Victims Crisis Center.