The Wright County Board took action on the following items at its June 11 meeting. They were compiled by John Holler.
• Heard a presentation from Sarah Grosshuesch, Health & Human Services Public Health Director, about the TOBACCO 21 ordinance, which would raise the age to legally buy tobacco products from 18 to 21. Teen tobacco use has increased for the first time in almost 20 years due to the infusion of e-cigarette use, which mask the nicotine with fruit and candy flavors. Every county board in the state was presented with T21 presentations to vote on the initiative, giving counties the option to approve the law on their own. Over the last two years, many cities, counties and two states have enacted T21 laws.
• In a related item, tabled setting a committee of the whole to create a countywide policy to include cities in the county with municipal police departments to have them involved in the discussion.
• Voted to take no action to amending the county’s no-wake zone policy on county lakes. Three years earlier, the board created a policy for no-wake zones and invited all lake associations to participate or not. Given the high water created this spring, some lake associations have requested inclusion in the no-wake policy, but the board urged having the discussion early next year if there is interest in adding lakes to the current ordinance.
• Referred discussion of the county’s law enforcement contract rate between the Wright County Sheriff’s Department and the cities in the county that contract for patrol service. For the ability for cities to budget for that service, the county historically has approved rates over a two-year period.
• Awarded the contract for the CSAH 39 buffer lane safety project from Monticello to Otsego to Knife River Corporation in the amount of $4,396,864. The bid was 6 percent below the county engineer’s estimate.
• Tabled setting a closed session of the committee of the whole concerning health insurance renewals. It was scheduled to be held Tuesday, Aug. 6, but needs to be rescheduled due to a board conflict.
• Authorized attendance by Board Chair Darek Vetsch and Auditor/Treasurer Bob Hiivala at the 84th National Association of Counties Annual Conference July 12-15 in Las Vegas.
• Set a transportation committee of the whole meeting for 1 p.m. Wednesday, June 26. Among the topics of discussion will be changes/revisions to projects in the 2019-2020 construction seasons, an update on plans for Bertram Park Road.
• Approved the purchase of several election-related items from Election Systems & Software Inc., including 61 DS200 ballot counters ($316,110), two DS200 ballot counters for the City of Delano ($10,750), one DS450 ballot counter ($43,385) and Electionware software and hardware ($10,873).