Commissioner Steve Ritter was deep in thought as Greg Jodzio of Southwest Initiative Foundation asked for funding.

County rehires county engineer and administrator

The Lyon County Board of Commissioners Tuesday gave the stamp of approval to two key staff members.
First they gave a new four-year contract to County Engineer Aaron VanMoer. And after a closed session, the board announced they were continuing the employment of Lyon County Administrator Loren Stomberg.
It was a morning filled with staff decisions as eight staff members were honored for their service to the county — from five years up to 20 years.

More per diem?
It took the Lyon County Board several months to get their point across to the Lincoln Pipestone Water Board. Finally, after withholding their automatic appointment of board members, the local board and Lincoln Pipestone came to an agreement to allow a Lyon County Board member to sit in on the meetings.
Lyon County officials didn’t feel they were getting the information they needed from such meetings and that Lincoln Pipestone could spend their money without notification.
Eventually, the Lyon County Board appointed Commissioner Gary Crowley to attend the Lincoln Pipestone meetings.
He attended his first meeting last week and reported back to the board.
He found it to be a long meeting and at times needed more background information. “They were very organized and did a good job of explaining things to me,” he said.
But Crowley joked,  because of the length of the meeting, “Perhaps I should ask for double per diem.”

Slowing a growing gap
There is a growing gap between the rich and poor.
“Everything we do is to try and squeeze that gap down,” said Greg Jodzio of the Southwest Initiative Foundation (SIF).
Tuesday he told the Lyon County Board, “We hope to make Lyon County the 19th county in our group.”
“Jobs to me are the most important thing,” he said. “We’d like the county to provide $8,000 to go toward economic development,” Jodzio said.
He told the board in the last 30 years, the SIF has provided $44 million in loans from $50 to $50,000 under a “micro loan program.” They also provide up to $200,000 in another program.
“What we do is mentor startup or existing small businesses.”
He estimated SIF has helped create 500 starter jobs.
“Our strategy is to help make (the area) a better place live or work.”
The SIF has helped with 16 early childhood initiatives and 25 community foundations. “What we do is the background work,” Jodzio said.
The board will discuss the SIF request in the future.

IN OTHER action the board:
•Approved a $44,689.07 snowmobile trails grant issued to the Lyon County Trail/Southwest Ridgerunners, Inc.
•Approved a three-year extension with Southwest Sanitation on a single sort recycling contract. They approved continuing the monthly base rate of $25,559 per month.
This rate is an increase from the last three years contract of $21,389 per month. Southwest Sanitation hauls about 2,021 tons per month.
•In preparation for the shower/bathroom building to be built at Garvin Park, the board accepted a bid of $13,000 from A&C Excavating of Marshall for the septic system installation.
•Approved the lateral transfer of Tammy Isaackson of the county jail staff to a criminal records technical assistant II position.

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