GRANITE?FALLS?- Yellow Medicine County finished the first quarter of the year in good overall financial shape in terms of budget expenditures, according to a report presented by Finance Manager Michelle May at the regularly scheduled county board meeting on Tuesday.
County Administrator Ryan Krosch said expenditures from the general fund, which accounts for about half of the county budget, were at about 29 percent of budget for the first quarter. Of the other two largest county departments, Human Services spent about 27 percent of budget. Roads and Bridges was at 19 percent, much lower than normal because of the lack of snow last winter.
"As a whole we're right where we need to be in the first quarter," Krosch said.
The board also heard from Countryside Public Health Deputy Administrator Linda Norland, who summarized the state's county health rankings in the five counties that comprise the CPH joint powers agreement.
Countryside Public Health is operated by Yellow Medicine, Big Stone, Chippewa, Lac qui Parle and Swift counties.
According to the data presented by Norland, Yellow Medicine County ranks 69th out of 87 Minnesota counties as measured by an aggregate number of health factors, the lowest of the five counties in CPH. The highest ranking county of the five was Lac qui Parle, the 12th in Minnesota.
Norland told the board CPH has run in the red for the past three years, and a meeting has been scheduled to discuss priorities for health services on April 25 at a located to be determined later.
With federal and state funding cuts, CPH will face some hard choices on how and which services to deliver, according to Norland.
"We'd like to discuss how we decide what our priorities are," Norland said. "Which is it better to do? Provide child car seats or water testing?"
Norland told the board some health issues are beyond the capability of the agency to help.
"One of the factors in poor pregnancy outcomes is lack of a significant other," Norland said. "A third of all mothers on the WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) program are single. We can't affect that."
The meeting, which Norland called a "mini-retreat," will be comprised of a county commissioner and a layperson from each of the five member counties, with two commissioners representing Lac qui Parle County because of its relatively larger population.
Lyon County Environmental Administrator Paul Henriksen briefed the board on the planned collection event on Saturday, May 19, for appliances, electronics, fluorescent bulbs, and tires.
Collection points will be set up in county highway shops in Granite Falls and Canby and at the city of Clarkfield Maintenance Shop. Disposal of appliances will be free, except for freon-containing appliances such as refrigerators and air conditioners. All electronics will cost $10 to dispose of. There will be a sliding scale for fluorescent bulbs and tires ranging from 50 cents to $1.75 for bulbs, and from $2.25 to $35 for tires depending on size.