Cook County News

August 15, 2017 – Following are highlights and key priorities covered at the Tuesday, Aug 15 Board of Commissioners Meeting:

2018 Proposed Budget Review
The Board reviewed the first draft of the General Fund Department budget summary and reviewed general assumptions and specific department-level considerations. The Board reviewed options to balance the budget over a three-year period and discussed parameters for discretionary funding guidelines. The schedule for public input into the 2018 budget conversation was established setting dates for public Town Hall meetings (schedule following), and a third Thursday Discussion on WTIP radio with Board Chair Jan Sivertson, County Administrator Jeff Cadwell and County Treasurer Braidy Powers on August 24, 7 pm.

August 14, 2017 – Weather permitting, blacktop maintenance will begin today on CSAH 12 (Gunflint Trail) near Loon Lake. Astech Corp, the crack sealing contractor, expects road work on Gunflint Trail will take one to two days between Old Gunflint Trail and Gunflint Narrows.  Surface crack sealing of CSAH 7 (5th St W) from 5th Ave W to Highway 61, and a section of CSAH 2 (Sawbill Trail) is expected later this week.

August 10, 2017 – Following are highlights and key priorities covered at the Tuesday, Aug 8 Board of Commissioners Meeting:

Departmental Budgets Review – Highway & Law Enforcement
The Highway Department budget contains several new revenue and expenditure lines as we incorporate the Greater MN Transportation Sales and Use Tax into daily operations. The proposed budget for 2018 shows and increase of $4.5 million. The increase in the highway budget is in engineering and construction of road improvements. Most of this difference is funded by the new Transportation Tax. The balance of the increase is being funded by changes to the Municipal County State Aid Formulas that are supporting projects within the City of Grand Marais. The proposed 2018 budget includes an allocation of $150,000 for calcium chloride. The primary purpose of calcium chloride is to supplement maintenance and reconstruction of gravel roads, and most people recognize the additional benefit of dust control. Commissioners and Highway staff have been receiving complaints about excessive dust from area roads. Last year, the Board voted unanimously to eliminate the $140,000 expense for calcium chloride as a way to reduce the budget.

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