Redwood County Board holds first meeting of 2021

Deb Moldaschel
Redwood Falls Gazette

The Redwood County Board met Tuesday morning, Jan. 5, in their first meeting of the new year. This precipitated some formality as Judge Rohland administered the oath of office to Commissioner-Elect Rick Wakefield and Commissioners Dave Forkrud and Bob Van Hee. Jim Salfer was elected Chairman for 2021 and Dennis Groebner was elected Vice-Chair.

The board approved the request of Anthony Sellner of the Highway Department to declare two International snowplow trucks as excess property and authorize their sale on MnBID. Sellner said the Highway Department has 14 snowplow trucks — nine actively drive snowplow routes, three are backup, and two are excess property and should be sold. The trucks to be sold are a 2002 with 264,889 miles and a 2005 with 214,947 miles.

Following the recommendation of the Planning Commission, the Commissioners approved a conditional-use permit application from Novel Energy Solutions to construct and operate a community solar garden in Swedes Forest Township. The 1 megawatt solar array will be located about three miles north of Belview. In their application, Novel Energy Solutions said the solar garden will be connected to the nearby Xcel Energy substation. Excel customers will be able to purchase subscriptions to the solar garden, thereby getting the benefit of solar power without the need to install their own individual arrays. The Public Hearing on this CUP was held on Dec. 28.

Briana Mumme of the EDA presented information on the Pandemic Business Loss Grant Program. Mumme sought the Commissioners input on what the goals and priorities should be when building the county-administered business grant program and a projected timeline. A committee was appointed and guidelines for the grant program will be presented at the Jan. 19 board meeting.

The Redwood Gazette was designated as the official newspaper for Redwood County in 2021.The next meeting of the Redwood County Board is Tuesday, Jan. 19 at 8:30 a.m. at MN West Learning Center.