3/14/2014 10:06:00 AM Goodhue County finances solid
By Paul Martin
Goodhue County's total 2013 expenditure of almost $63 million was about $7.5 million over budget, but was balanced by revenues of nearly the same amount, Goodhue County Commissioners heard at their March 4 meeting.
The overrun was caused by several public works projects which were approved during the year. Chief among these were major road improvements on US-52 at the junctions with Hwy. 24 and Hwy. 9; and the planning stage of work on the Public Health building, which will be demolished later this month, the Citizens' Building and the Government Center. These expenses were balanced by state and federal aid to some extent, and by transfers from County bond dollars earmarked for roads. Commissioners' confidence in the figures presented by County staff was shown by the fact that no questions were raised about the figures before they were approved.
County Historical Society to Hire new Director
Commissioner Ron Allen, who is this year's Board Chair, reported that the Goodhue County Historical Society is close to hiring a new Director. Allen is the Board's liaison to the Society. "Very few comparable Historical Societies have three full-time staff, as ours does," said Allen, "and few receive as much county support. People are very generous. Fundraisers are well supported, and the Society received a $300,000 bequest last spring."
Allen welcomed some new directions the Society is taking. "The candidate they hope to hire has been very successful in applying for grants," he said. "The Society is working to move away from a research and library model and back to an emphasis on education and outreach."
Award for County
Goodhue County's Building Department was honored with the 2013 Building Department of the Year award from AMBO, the Association of Minnesota Building Officials. On hand to present it was Craig Hoium, AMBO Board member. The award is for successfully enforcing building codes. "Making sure building codes are followed often includes telling people what they don't want to hear," said Hoium. "The work is necessary to ensure public safety and allow people to trust the buildings they occupy."
Clinton Sjoquist was given a Conditional Use Permit to build a hay and straw storage business on Hwy. 1 west of White Rock in Leon Township. Plans call for up to four 80 x 200 foot storage buildings and a 60 x 100 office and shop building. The business will serve the area's farming community.