The regular Walsh County Commission meeting was held yesterday. Commissioners unanimously approved a utility permit for Polar Communications. The company will be working to upgrade its infrastructure and bring fiber optic service to homes between Adams and Park River. The permit allows the company to bury cable in county right of way so it won't have to get approval from individual land owners along the project's route . Luther Meberg says he and the other commissioners are always in favor of improving services for county residents.
The commission also gave the go ahead to develop an expanded wellness promotion program. The proposal was presented by new County Tobacco Prevention Coordinator Stacy Langen and Walsh County Public Health Nurse Wanda Kratochvil. Walsh County Public Health has begun researching different ideas such as hearing tests, first aid and CPR classes and a wide range of other activities that would support physical and mental health as well as personal safety. The proposal outlined a plan that would allow employees to earn a paid 8 hour personal day for completing 10 of 12 months of wellness activities. Kratochvil says the purpose of the expanded program is to entice employees that normally don't participate in such programs. She says in the county could save money with the program in the way of improving employee health and decreasing health insurance costs incurred by the county.
County Tobacco Prevention Coordinator Stacy Langen proposed the county adopt a comprehensive tobacco free grounds policy. Currently tobacco use is allowed on county grounds beyond 20 feet of entrances in designated smoking areas. The new policy would ban the use of tobacco in or on any county property and no longer allow for designated smoking areas. It would have also banned tobacco use in personal employee vehicles parked on county property. Commissioners voted against adopting the new policy and will revisit the issue in another year. In the meantime the county will continue with their old policy.
Commissioners later voted unanimously to change the position of county auditor to an appointed seat rather than elected. The commission noted that all public notification requirements had been met and they could proceed with the official vote. By roll call vote all 5 commissioners voted in favor of the change.
Commissioner Luther Meberg requested the commission change the day and or time of its first monthly meetings. Meberg serves on the Nodak Rural Electric Board and he says having the commission's first meeting of the month on Tuesdays at 9:00AM was consistently conflicting with his meetings on the Nodak Board. The Commission then voted to move their 1st meeting of the month to Monday mornings at 9:00AM. The second meeting of the month will stay on Tuesdays at 9.