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Task force seeks Kandiyohi County, Minn., stamp of approval for work against aquatic invasive species

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news Willmar, 56201

Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

WILLMAR -- The Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners heard an update Tuesday about a newly formed committee made up of county individuals who are trying to keep aquatic invasive species out of county lakes.

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Mike O'Brien, a retired conservation officer, said the Kandiyohi County Aquatic Invasive Species Task Force is working to keep zebra mussels out of Kandiyohi County lakes through education, communication and making decontamination for boats easy.

"Everybody is more than willing to do the right thing if they had the opportunity," said O'Brien, adding that the group may not be able to keep zebra mussels out of county lakes but they could at least slow down their arrival.

"If we don't do something, I can guarantee you they'll be here," said O'Brien.

He asked the county to pass a resolution to show their support of the Kandiyohi County AIS Task Force that could be used when seeking grants that could be used to wage the "long battle" against aquatic invasive species. He said the group will need $25,000 to $50,000 to meet its goals

"We want the blessings of the county," said O'Brien.

Commissioner Dennis Peterson thanked O'Brien for "taking the bull by the horns" with the group but said he has been fielding questions from the public about the membership and leadership of the committee.

Chairman Richard Larson asked O'Brien to come back to the board with a resolution for the board to act on. "We'd be happy to do it," he said.

In other action Tuesday by the County Board:

n A revised report on the phase II redesign study of the county was approved and the commissioners set a tentative date of Oct. 24 to conduct a work session on the phase I plan to discuss ways to put the plan into action.

Phase one of the study addressed departments located in the downtown county office building, including the auditor, assessor and recorder. Phase two looks at the possible combination of family services, public health and community corrections into one department.

n The commissioners agreed to request $1.7 million in advanced state aid funding to put toward the County Road 9 reconstruction project on the east side of Eagle Lake. The county is "borrowing ahead" and using money that is due to the county next year, said Public Words Director Gary Danielson.

n The commissioners agreed to allow the Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center to host a "zombie run" on Oct. 20. It would be "one of the first of its kind in Minnesota" and could attract 200 to 300 runners and serve as a fundraiser for the PWELC, said County Administrator Larry Kleindl.

n Acting on the recommendation of the Planning Commission, the County Board denied a request by Harlan Rohner to rezone property he owns in Willmar Township from agriculture to commercial.

WILLMAR -- The Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners heard an update Tuesday about a newly formed committee made up of county individuals who are trying to keep aquatic invasive species out of county lakes.

Mike O'Brien, a retired conservation officer, said the Kandiyohi County Aquatic Invasive Species Task Force is working to keep zebra mussels out of Kandiyohi County lakes through education, communication and making decontamination for boats easy.

"Everybody is more than willing to do the right thing if they had the opportunity," said O'Brien, adding that the group may not be able to keep zebra mussels out of county lakes but they could at least slow down their arrival.

"If we don't do something, I can guarantee you they'll be here," said O'Brien.

He asked the county to pass a resolution to show their support of the Kandiyohi County AIS Task Force that could be used when seeking grants that could be used to wage the "long battle" against aquatic invasive species. He said the group will need $25,000 to $50,000 to meet its goals

"We want the blessings of the county," said O'Brien.

Commissioner Dennis Peterson thanked O'Brien for "taking the bull by the horns" with the group but said he has been fielding questions from the public about the membership and leadership of the committee.

Chairman Richard Larson asked O'Brien to come back to the board with a resolution for the board to act on. "We'd be happy to do it," he said.

In other action Tuesday by the County Board:

- A revised report on the phase II redesign study of the county was approved and the commissioners set a tentative date of Oct. 24 to conduct a work session on the phase I plan to discuss ways to put the plan into action.

Phase one of the study addressed departments located in the downtown county office building, including the auditor, assessor and recorder. Phase two looks at the possible combination of family services, public health and community corrections into one department.

- The commissioners agreed to request $1.7 million in advanced state aid funding to put toward the County Road 9 reconstruction project on the east side of Eagle Lake. The county is "borrowing ahead" and using money that is due to the county next year, said Public Words Director Gary Danielson.

- The commissioners agreed to allow the Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center to host a "zombie run" on Oct. 20. It would be "one of the first of its kind in Minnesota" and could attract 200 to 300 runners and serve as a fundraiser for the PWELC, said County Administrator Larry Kleindl.

- Acting on the recommendation of the Planning Commission, the County Board denied a request by Harlan Rohner to rezone property he owns in Willmar Township from agriculture to commercial.

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