Itasca County Board Chair Davin Tinquist recognized the 100 year anniversary of the local Farm Bureau and their commitment to farming and agricultural education in Itasca County on Tuesday, July 9 during a regular meeting of the Itasca County Commissioners.

According to The Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation website, the organization is an advocate for agriculture, driven by the beliefs and policies of their members, who include farmers and those interested in agriculture who have an interest in the future of farmers, their families and the food they grow and raise. 

“[The] Farm Bureau’s dynamic strength stems from our members at the grassroots level. People sharing ideas, seeing common wisdom, developing solid solutions...all in pursuit of improving the quality of life in a spirit of voluntary cooperation,” the website explained.

The first county Farm Bureau recorded in Minnesota was organized in 1913, and the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation was officially born in November of 1919 as a general farm organization of affiliated county Farm Bureaus. 

Today, with 78 county Farm Bureaus and nearly 30,000 member families, the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation continues to follow the ideals of its creators by promoting the beliefs and policies of its members.

“I want to say thanks to the local Farm Bureau,” said Tinquist during Tuesday’s meeting. “Farming isn’t a huge driver in our area compared to timber and mining and those things, but there are still a number of people who farm around here, and we thank those guys for that.” 

The board approved the following consent agenda items:

• Approved the use of the recorder’s compliance fund to secure the payment of a high-speed printer in the treasurer’s department, in the amount of $11,434.99.

• Awarded contract 59827 for County Road (CR) 340 bridge removal/culvert replacements to the lowest responsible bidder, William J. Schwartz and Sons, Inc. in the amount of $173,985.20, and authorized the required signatures on the contract documents. Bids were opened on June 18, 2019, and four bids were received. 

• Barring any irregularities, awarded contract 69301 for (County State Aid Highway) CSAH 93 Grading, Aggregate Base and Bituminous to the lowest responsible bidder, Gladen Construction, Inc. in the amount of $1,381,887, and authorized the required signatures on the contract documents.

• Approved the final payment for Contract 59828; CSAH 13, CR 141 and CR 253 culvert/bridge replacement projects, and authorized the county board chairperson and clerk to the county board to sign the necessary documents. George Bougalis and Sons, Co. has completed the culvert/bridge replacement projects for a final payment amount of $247,877.50 to be processed.

• Approved the final payment for Contract 64505, a grading and base project on CSAH 45, and authorized the county board chairperson and clerk to the county board to sign the necessary documents. TNT Aggregates, LLC has completed the grading and base project on CSAH 45 from South Club Lake Road to Fox Lake Road, for a final payment of $1,360,170.82 to be processed.

• Entered into a town road construction, improvement and maintenance contract with Marcell Township and authorized the necessary signatures on the contract documents. Itasca County performs regular bridge safety inspections on township bridges as required by statute. Once the inspections are complete, a letter outlining any maintenance issues is sent to each township. On bridge L-3822, some of the deck planks are rotting and need to be replaced. Marcell Township is requesting a cooperative agreement with Itasca County to have their forces complete the repair work and bill the township for the time and materials for the work. This is work that the county plans to accomplish with their regular staff and it will be completed during the summer of 2019.

During the regular agenda, the board:

• Approved the minutes of the Tuesday, July 2 county board work session.

• Welcomed new employee Linette Welshinger, Records Deputy, Sheriff Department, effective July 8.

• Approved Commissioner Warrants with a check date of July 12, 2019, in the amount of $2,070,015.33.

• Heard a report from Tom Suppes, Risk Management Consultant with Minnesota Counties Intergovernmental Trust (MCIT), who provided a review of the 2019 MCIT Member Report in which he discussed consultation services offered, highlights from 2018, coverage enhancements that have been approved for 2019, rates, training for officials and employees and more. MCIT, he said, provides coverage for 81 of the 87 counties in the state as well as a number of affiliated entities such as historical societies, fair boards, etc. “This is a big year for us and our members,” said Suppes, who said the trust is celebrating 40 years of coming together to manage risks successfully. 

• Heard an update from Business Division Manager Christine Krebs, including information regarding the Health and Human Services budget vs. actual breakdown for the second quarter of 2019.

• Adopted a resolution of support for the Mississippi Headwaters Board 2019 Comprehensive Plan.

Following the meeting, the board went into closed session to discuss Parcel Identification (PID) 91-033-4120. Others present were County Attorney Matti Adam, County Administrator Brett Skyles, Jail Coordinator/Captain Lucas Thompson, County Auditor/Treasurer Jeff Walker, County Sheriff Vic Williams and Deputy Clerk of the County Board Amanda Schultz.

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