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County Board Meeting March 7 2023

Posted: 03/13/2023

Author: Julie Anderson

Category: County Board, Departments

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The Douglas County Board of Commissioners approved going out for bids on a large paving project between Brandon and Evansville and approved a permit for the new Summer Sounds by Brophy concert series this summer.

Those were just two of the items in a very busy agenda which included the following:

Public Works

Public Works Director Tim Erickson asked the board for permission to get bids on the mill and overlay paving project for County State Aid Highway 82 between Brandon and Evansville. He also asked to get bids for the county’s share of the roundabout to be constructed near the Pilot Gas Station on County State Aid Highways 45 and 46. Commissioners approved both requests.

They also voted to approve $1,850.00 to chemically treat a defined area of Lake Brophy near the beach to eliminate the weeds and provide a quality swimming experience. That part of the lake will be treated two times. Each time the area will be marked with caution against drinking the water for three days. Commissioner Jerry Rapp voted against the treatment option. 

Lake Brophy will be a popular destination this summer for many reasons. Among them is the new concert series called Summer Sounds by Brophy. The concerts will be held July 18 and 25 and August 1. Organized by the Alexandria Rotary Club they will feature big name talent and will be open to the public at no charge. Sponsors will cover most of the costs and the money raised through the sale of beer will be used to improve parks in the county. The concerts will begin at 5 p.m. and end at 9 p.m. Onsite parking will be supplemented by shuttle buses running back and forth from the fairgrounds where people can also park.

West Central Minnesota Communities Action

West Central Minnesota Communities Action asked commissioners to support a resolution that allows them to apply for grant funding to assist the homeless in Douglas County and the other counties they support with their programs. Amber Holmstrom shared with commissioners they will be asking for approximately $800,000 which will be used over two years to help applicants pay for past due rent, security deposits or other qualifying items. The goal is to reduce the number of homeless in the west central area of Minnesota. Commissioners approved the resolution.

Land and Resource Management

Director Dave Rush presented a conditional use permit and a preliminary plat to allow the conversion of an existing commercial resort into a residential planned unit development on Lake Carlos. The resort was operating as Lake Carlos Bay Resort. The new owner plans to sell the individual units.

Rush also presented a preliminary plat of the Schultz Family Trust Property. The applicant is proposing to plat three lots, and an out lot, from a 25-acre piece of land with frontage on Sandy Beach Drive. None of the lots will access to Lake Miltona.

County Coordinator

Douglas County will continue to lease office space to the Minnesota Department of Corrections. A new five-year lease was approved. The DOC leases space above the sheriff’s office.


Finance Director Jill Frisell was given permission to transfer $4 million from the general fund into the capital projects fund. Of this amount, $125,000 will cover the firewall requested by IT. The remainder will be used for future capital projects.


Vicki Doehling presented three applications for lawful gambling. One for United Way of Douglas & Pope Counties to conduct a raffle at Gathered Oaks on April 28, one for the Alexandria Association of the Young Bowling Alliance for a raffle at Nordic Trails Golf on April 29th, and one for the Leaf Valley Game & Fish Conservation Club for a raffle and pull tabs at Leaf Valley Town Hall.

County/City Meeting

Twice a year the Douglas County Commissioners meet face to face with the Alexandria City Council. Together they compile an agenda. This year the subjects included: Pope/Douglas Expansion update, childcare needs, Alexandria Senior Center, and the Douglas County Library. Board Chair Charlie Meyer introduced the council members present. Bill Franzen, Roger Thalman, Scott Allen and Nicole Mace as well as City Administrator Marty Schultz and Community Development Director Mike Weber.

First on the agenda were Mike Martin and Brooke Hellerman from Pope Douglas Solid Waste who shared photos and the latest information on an expansion project. The project involves many aspects of the operation, but the information presented focused on the campus at 2115 Jefferson Street in Alexandria. The plan is to expand the Materials Recovery Facility. There is also a plan to build an Environmental Center which will be used for the Household Hazardous Waste program, Recycling, Problem Materials, Education and Administration. The presentation showed how the site is prepped, the stormwater ponds are complete, city water and stormwater infrastructure are nearly complete, and the new scale and software are in place. However, they told the elected officials, the expansion of the Materials Recovery Facility is on hold until Capital Assistance Program Bonds are secured. People can learn more about this exciting project at

Next the elected officials discussed the need for additional licensed childcare and childcare providers. One option is to expand capacity at the Alexandria Area YMCA. CEO Jackie Peters said there are hundreds of children in need of licensed childcare, and it will take input from government leaders as well as the private sector to address this pressing issue. 

The county board members and Alexandria city council members next discussed the future of the Alexandria Senior center. Shelli-Kae Foster, the executive director, was in attendance. She had previously presented to the county board about the possible relocation of the Senior Center to the YMCA property. This would require an increased ongoing financial commitment from county, city, and township governments. Foster said the center has members from across the county and explained 75 percent of the current budget comes from users. There is an annual membership fee and both members and guests pay a small sum for activities at the center. She thanked the council and board for their financial support in 2023 and said she’ll next be attending township meetings to share the future plans with board supervisors.

Finally, the elected officials discussed the future of the Douglas County Library. The library board has previously shared its space needs study and expressed hope to build a new library in the county. One temporary solution to space needs for large events is the gymnasium located in the Douglas County Services Center building. That was recently successfully used for a Storybook Princess program attended by 240 children and adults.      


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