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Law enforcement project progresses

At Tuesday's regular board meeting, Douglas County commissioners were kept busy.

Not only did they listen to and approve agenda items from Auditor/Treasurer Tom Reddick, Public Works Director Dave Robley, Douglas County Sheriff Troy Wolbersen and Land and Resource Management Director Dave Rush, but they received annual reports from the Sauk River Watershed District and Minnesota Counties Insurance Trust, among other items.

During the approximately three-hour long meeting, they listened to presentations from Chuck Nettestad with the United Communities Advocating Non-violence (U-CAN) committee; Holly Kovarik, administrator for the Sauk River Watershed District; Bill Anderson and Jeff Lind from Douglas Area Trails Association; and Bruce Underdahl from Minnesota Counties Insurance Trust.

They also received an update from County Coordinator Bill Schalow and Public Health Director Sandy Tubbs on the Douglas County joint public health administration agreement with Stevens, Traverse and Grant (STG) counties.

In addition, Chris Karpan, Douglas County attorney, updated the commissioners on what is going on with the agreement between the county and city of Alexandria in regard to the joint law enforcement center.

The commissioners approved an amendment to the memorandum of understanding between the two entities for the joint center.

The amended part of the memorandum basically states that the city of Alexandria will be the lead agency for the joint law enforcement center and will be responsible for administrating and maintaining all financial records and the payment of invoices for the project.

In addition, Douglas County, along with the city of Alexandria, approved a contract with ORB Management for construction management services; and that costs will be shared equally.

Previously, both the county and city entities awarded a contract for architectural services for the joint center to Ringdahl Architects and awarded a contract to Widseth Smith Nolting to furnish civil engineering services for the design and construction of required site drainage improvements for the project.

Although the project is far from being completed, Karpan told the commissioners they would still have time to back out down the road, but that by approving the amendment, "This is money you won't get back. This is the start."

The amendment was approved by a 4-1 vote. Jerry Johnson voted against it.