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WILLMAR—The Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners will organize for the upcoming year at its first meeting of 2017 on Tuesday. The board meets at 9 a.m. in the board room at the Kandiyohi County Health and Human Services Building. The meeting will open with the election of the board chairman and vice chairman for 2017, followed by the designation of the county's official newspaper for publishing legal notices. Reorganization and committee appointments are up next.
WILLMAR — The Kandiyohi County Board took another step last week toward construction of an overpass over the south end of the pending railroad bypass west of Willmar, voting to enter into a professional services agreement to complete the overpass design. The agreement with WSB and Associates of Minneapolis includes the final design, bridge inspection and geotechnical services. The cost comes to $605,000, part of which has already been incurred for the preliminary bridge design by WSB.
WILLMAR — Public awareness and education will be at the forefront next year in Kandiyohi County's ongoing battle against aquatic invasive species. A beefed-up force of watercraft inspectors at boat landings also will be a priority, said Stephanie Felt, the county's AIS prevention coordinator. "The key is going to be the prevention effort," she said. The Kandiyohi County Board last week confirmed the work plan developed by the county's aquatic invasive species task force for next year.
WILLMAR – The Kandiyohi County Commissioners voted Tuesday to keep their pay for 2017 at the same level as this year. Their vote against giving themselves a raise was unanimous and accomplished with the briefest of discussions. At $30,764.23 a year, the commissioners’ salaries have only a minimal impact on the county’s overall $72 million budget. But there’s a symbolic value in forgoing an increase, the commissioners said Tuesday.
WILLMAR — Nearly a year into a comparable worth study, Kandiyohi County has reached the benchmarking stage and will finalize a primary salary structure within the next couple of months. "We're making good progress," Connie Mort, the county's human resources director, told the County Board of Commissioners during a recent update.
WILLMAR — A lengthy agenda awaits the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners for its upcoming meeting. The County Board meets at 10 a.m. Tuesday in the board room at the Kandiyohi County Health and Human Services Building, 2200 23rd St. N.E. Part of the meeting will be occupied with end-of-the-year business, including setting the commissioners' salaries for 2017 and reporting on the administrator's annual review.
WILLMAR — There's a new addition to the official Kandiyohi County website: a series of videos promoting the good life in Kandiyohi County. The videos were filmed this past June by CGI Communications of Rochester, New York, and are now available for online viewing by the public. The County Board of Commissioners recently had a screening of all seven videos in the series. Each focuses on a different aspect of life in Kandiyohi County: education, business and economic development, tourism, real estate, the nonprofit sector, healthy living and quality of life.
WILLMAR — Eleven people were named this week to a community table tasked with finding innovative ways to improve health in Willmar and reduce health inequities. The new group, which held its first meeting Monday night, will be working over the next two years to identify barriers and devise strategies for promoting good health across the community. The initiative, called "Moving Health Forward," is funded by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota as a state pilot project to address gaps in population health.
WILLMAR — Changes are in store for Kandiyohi County clients enrolled in prepaid Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare through Medica, following a recent announcement by the health plan that it is withdrawing from some of Minnesota's public programs this coming May. What happens next is still uncertain, said Ann Stehn, director of Kandiyohi County Health and Human Services. Her department has "a lot more questions than answers" right now, she said. "There will be changes, obviously. We just don't know what they are yet," Stehn said.
WILLMAR—Redesign of the entrance to Games Lake County Park, along with parking lot improvements and flood control measures, will be fast-tracked so all the work can be finished next spring before Memorial Day and before reconstruction begins on County Road 5. The new timetable was approved Friday by the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners. Completing the park improvements early will minimize disruption to campers and visitors and make for a better park experience, county officials said.