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FAIRMONT — The Martin County Board of Commissioners heard from County Clerk Michelle Duncan, who provided a year-end update on Tuesday.

By state law, the County Recorder must share the real estate turnaround time for recording documents. On Tuesday, Duncan said the Recorder’s office was in compliance with that. She also said the compliance fund balance at the end of 2022 was $184,843 and that $11 of each registered document goes into the fund.

A Compliance Fund Committee meeting will be held soon to discuss the wish list for land use offices and the current budgeted expenditure is approximately $60,000.

“The technology fund balance is $271,370…$10 of each recorded document goes into this fund for the use of the recorder,” said Duncan.

She said property registrations for 2022 were 3,915, down from 4,861 in 2021.

“I think it’s because the market is quite tough,” said Duncan.

Several other vital records were down last year from the year before. Births increased from 137 in 2021 to 126 in 2022 and deaths increased from 285 in 2021 to 265 in 2022. However, marriage applications increased from 84 in 2021 to 97 in 2022.

“Passports, we are still doing very well. We don’t do badly. We made about 270 passports last year with revenue of $10,290,” said Duncan.

Moving on to other matters, Steve Chase, a Martin County Veterans Memorial volunteer, also provided the board with the COBRA Helicopter Annual Report.

Chase explained that an inspection of the helicopter takes place every year and is submitted to the Minnesota Department of Administration. Included in the report were some issues with the main rotor rotation. Photos, which were taken by Martin County Veterans Services Officer Doug Landsteiner, have also been included for the commissioners to view.

“The cables are loose and they are wrapped around the barrel and are starting to rip the nose turret off the helicopter…. the tail fin assembly tail cable is loose and is rubbing all the paint which will cause streaking of rust, says Chase.

Commissioners Elliot Belgard agreed that something needed to be done and asked Chase what his recommendation was.

“It’s not a very good time of year to do that. You must have an elevator there, I guess,” Belgard said.

Chase said his job was to inspect it and he didn’t really have any answers. He suggests the council work with county engineer Kevin Peyman on the project. He also suggested that they find a specialist who also knows helicopter work.

County Coordinator Scott Higgins said: “As the council knows, it’s our job to make sure this thing is maintained and in good repair, so these issues need to be addressed.”

The council accepted the report and told Chase it would work to make the necessary repairs.

Building Maintenance Supervisor Luke Cyphers spoke about the need to upgrade the elevator in the Human Resources building. He said the problem has been around longer than it has with the county and that they apply oil about every six months. However, during an inspection, it was recently discovered that oil is most likely getting into the jack hole, which is under the car.

“They recommended decommissioning the elevator now knowing what we know,” said Cyphers.

He then asked for replacement offers because he said the car was very old and it was difficult to find spare parts.

Commissioner Kathy Smith said the building committee had not met on the matter and therefore had no recommendation, but she acknowledged that it was very important that the elevator be repaired as soon as possible.

Belgard asked if it was budgeted, and Higgins said it would come from the Human Services Building fund, which is pretty healthy.

The board accepted an offer from MEI total lift solutions in the amount of $76,588.

In other news, the advice:

– Set a time and date for a 10 a.m. public hearing on Tuesday, February 21 for two tax abatement applications, one for Jonah Mayo in Jay Township and another for Larry and Deb Phillip in Fox Township Lake.

— Set a time and date for a public hearing at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, February 21 for the conditional use permit for the gravel pit of W. Lorentz & Sons Construction Inc.

— Approved an upgrade of the speakers for the videoconferencing system in the board room in the amount of $3,450.

– Approved entering into a Talent Solutions Proposal with Clifton/Larson/Allen to assist the County in its search for a Chief Financial Officer.

–Approved the hiring of a part-time correctional assistant for the Martin County Sheriff’s Office.

— Accepted a $400 donation for the Martin County Victim Witness program.

– Accepted a donation of $1,467 to the Martin County Veterans Services office.

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