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FIRST BABY BORN IN ORTONVILLE IN 2018 is Renner Jack Bollman, son of Dr. Jacob and Emma Bollman of Clarkfield. The delivering doctor was Dr. Grant Botker, at right. The new arrival was born Wednesday, Jan 3, 2018 at 1:21 p.m. Renner weighed 8 lbs. 6 oz. and measured 21.25” in length. He joins brothers Thatcher, 5, Porter, 2, and sister Willa, 3. 

Council passes garbage rate increase, annual appointments

The Ortonville city council held their first meeting of the new year Tuesday, Jan. 2, with all members present with the exception of Jake Dorry.

Council members approved a resolution amending the special assessment policy. The current policy states that connecting to a curb stop and to a sanitary sewer already existing within the property line will cost the property owner $1,250.

Since there is no cost to the City for the hook-up. City Clerk-Administrator Char Grossman recommended to the council that those charges be dropped from the special assessment policy. The council approved unanimously.

The city council approved a raise of $1 per month for each of the three sizes of garbage cans. The garbage rates are as follows: 35 gallon container from $11.60/month to $12.60/month; 64 gallon from $15.10/month to $16.10/month; and 96 gallon from $18.94/month to $19.94 per month.

“The reason for the increase is that we always have had a $1 surcharge on the bill so the city would have a little administration for doing all the billing. Over the past couple of years we haven’t increased it so this year we are increasing it by just $1,” said Grossman.

A resolution approving the annual appointments was passed. The Ortonville Independent was designated the official newspaper, KDIO Radio the official radio station, David McLaughlin as City Attorney and Minnwest Bank, Morgan, Stanley, Smith, Barney, 4-M Fund and CenBank as official depositories.

The Council approved the appointment of the 2018 Ortonville Fire Department Officers. Serving as Fire Chief is Randy McLain, Assistant Fire  Chief Chuck Henningson, Secretary Nolan Fetters, Treasurer Jesse Folk, Training Officer Jeremy Ohm and Safety Officer Dustin Kindelberger.

A one-year prosecution services agreement was approved with Joseph Glasrud, Big Stone County Attorney. The terms of the agreement will be from Jan. 1, 2018 through Dec. 31, 2018.

Discussion was held on a house located at 84 Dahle Addition. The house is currently unoccupied and has a number of tree limbs on it and is in disrepair. The council has concerns that there are safety concerns. On a unanimous vote, the council will have the City Attorney send a letter to the homeowner to have the property cleaned up.

Council members then discussed the Paul Skinner property located on Second Street. The original permit was for a storage facility, which has expired. Skinner was granted a one month extension and he has since turned it into a greenhouse. The plastic roof has blown off the greenhouse, and according to the City zoning map, the greenhouse is located in an area where it is not authorized, he is in a B-3 area, not a B-2.

The council approved a motion to have the City Attorney take final action on the property.

The next meeting of the Ortonville City Council will be Tuesday, Jan.16, at 5 p.m. in the Library Media Center. This is a change due to the Martin Luther King Holiday.

Olson Elected As Chairman Of Big Stone County Board

The Big Stone County Board met for the first time in 2018 on Tuesday, January 2, at the courthouse in Ortonville.

As their first order of business, the board members elected Brent Olson as Chairman and Roger Sandberg as Vice Chairman for 2018.

Following the new appointments, the board tended to several items of immediate business. The commissioners approved the minutes from their December 19 meeting. They accepted bids from the Ortonville Independent and The Northern Star to serve as official newspapers of the board. They also discussed planning commission appointments and approved them. Mary Larson was also appointed to serve as the 

4-H Youth Representative for the next two years.

Seeking the board’s approval to purchase a split parcel of land for the development of a new Highway Department shop, County Attorney Joe Glasrud  received the green light from the commissioners to execute a purchase agreement worth $53,000.

Glasrud also notified the commissioners that Barry approved purchase of attorney services for 2018. He is still waiting on approval from Beardsley and Ortonville.

Looking for the commissioners’ approval, Terry Ocana, Big Stone County IT Director, brought two grants and a programming contract before the county board.

Ocana received the board’s approval  to spend up to $25,000 of the $26,000 offered to the county as part of a Courthouse Security Grant. A stipulation of the grant requires the county to provide a 50 percent match of the funds spent. The money will be used to buy and install cameras and software inside of the courthouse building.

The board also green lighted Ocana to give ProWest Programming approval to spend up to $20,000 of the $22,000 offered to the county through a NG911 Grant to do GIS updating that will allow the Big Stone County 911 system to be compliant with federal and state standards.

“The reason the standards have changed started at the federal level,” Ocana said. “They are really trying hard to create emergency services for individuals with visual or hearing impairments.”

In Ocana’s final act of business with the board, he received approval to  move forward with spending $21,057.17 on a six-month contract with ProWest Programming for application development for GIS needs in 2018.

“When the department needs to enter data in the field, instead of entering it multiple times, the idea is to have ProWest develop applications that can be used to enter data one time instead of two or three times,” Ocana said. “We made it clear that we don’t want to just have a pretty application. We want to have something functional that gives us some efficiency.”

Providing an update from Countryside Public Health, Liz Auch and Megan Boutain, county health nurses, shared some of their recent business with board members.

“I want to thank Ortonville for its support,” Auch said, expressing gratitude. “We moved two of our offices last year, and had three extra people in Ortonville for about two months while we remodeled our offices in Benson and Montevideo.”

Auch also detailed that Boutain had recently reached out to area schools about their hiring needs concerning their health departments.

The duo then guided the commissioners through a health equity exercise  designed to look at some of the struggles that people who come into the county health office are facing. The exercise looked at different aspects like housing, healthcare, food, transportation, technology, laundry, shopping and spending money in terms of budgeting while trying to raise a family.

Following the public health update, the board conducted several acts of usual business.

Auditor Michelle Knutson was authorized to pay the county’s bills and ditch payment/loans from 2017.

The board also accepted a $500.50 donation from the Catholic Area Faith Community to be used to purchase new equipment for the Sheriff’s Department.

“We accept this donation with thanks for the concern for the safety of our local law enforcement,” Chairman Olson said.

The commissioners also passed a resolution for full-time County Attorney services from Glasrud; set the minimum salary for elected officials at $25,000; set the gravel tax at $120,000; approved the 2018 ditch assessment; passed the annual highway resolution for 2018, and approved a $1,000 funding request from the Beardsley First Responders.

Seeking approval, Cindy Nelson, county treasurer, presented board members with the county’s depository designations for 2018.  The commissioners approved Minnwest Bank, CenBank, Frandsen Bank & Trust, First Independent Bank, Star Bank and Magic Fund as depositories for Big Stone County. Nelson also provided the board with an investment report from 2017.

As part of their final piece of business, the county board discussed department head evaluations and expectations for 2018 with Dawn Gregoire, human resources director. Following the discussion, the board entered a work session to discuss elected officials salaries and do strategic planning before adjourning.


The Ortonville Independent can now print posters and