The annual change in leadership for the Carlton County Board of Commissioners came again at their January 5 Annual Re-organizational meeting. As has been the tradition, for more than a couple of decades, with a revolving selection for a new County Board Chair, each of the five Commissioners take their turn over a five year period. Tom Proulx now takes his turn and takes charge of running the Board meetings.

Commissioner Gary Peterson was elected Vice-Chair of the County Board and is taking his turn as Chair of the Committee of the Whole. Commissioner Mark Thell was elected Vice-Chair of the Committee of the Whole.

Health and Human Services Director Dave Lee reported that only 100 doses of the Moderna vaccine have been made available to the County nurses and the vaccines have been administered to, for example, Emergency Medical Service staff, ambulance crews, some hospital staff, testers, and those that will be giving the shots. The Moderna vaccine needs to be given twice with a space interval and so only up to 100 people can be vaccinated to begin with.

Lee was hopeful another round of vaccine will be allocated for Carlton County use soon but has not received any more information to this date. He envisions an active vaccine program by the end of January and a high rate of vaccinations by March. Nursing staff is focused on vaccinating for COVID 19 for the first six months, giving regular flu shots for the next six months, and then returning to COVID19 shots this next winter.

Bids for publication of legal notices came in from the Cloquet Journal, the Duluth News-Tribune, and a joint bid by the Moose Lake Star-Gazette and the Pine Knot News. Notices for legal business, summary of Commissioners proceedings, misc. legal publications, and the list of Delinquent Real Estate all came in for a joint bid of $13.50 per column inch for the joint bid of the local papers.

Auditor/Treasurer Kathy Korteum explained that in the past with only one newspaper publishing the delinquent tax list averaged around $13,000. The cost of this joint proposal which was the successful bidder last year was about $30,000. 

Jana Peterson, editor of the Pine Knot News, explained to the Board that only the Pine Knot News and the Moose Lake Star-Gazette ran offices in the County and by statute were the only ones that could be awarded the bid.

Korteum explained that the Legislature has been reluctant to curtail the rules for legal publication to insure the public’s need to know.

Peterson made the motion to accept the joint bid, Thell seconded it, and it passed unanimously. 

  In other County News:

The Regular County Board meetings continue to be held at 8:30AM on the second Tuesday of each month. The Adjourned Sessions are at 4PM on the fourth Monday of each month. As exceptions to that format, the Adjourned meeting for January will be on January 25, the December Regular meeting will be on December 14, and the December Adjourned meeting will be held on December 28.

Committee of the Whole meetings will be the first Tuesday of each month beginning in February at 4PM. All County department heads (elected and appointed), Carlton County Township Officers Association representative Dan Reed, and Transportation Matters representative Rick Norrgard are also part of the Committee of the Whole.

Holly Compo has been appointed to the Minnesota Agricultural Extension Board for the next two years.

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