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Polk County Commissioner On New Representation, CARES Act Funding and More

By: Mary Balstad marybalstadofficial@gmail.com (8/11/2020)

Polk County, MN -- In her monthly update on 'Food for Thought,' Polk County Commissioner Joan Lee spoke about important topics, ranging from local representation to state funding. The first piece was in regards to new representation for the Polk County Extension Committee. The previous representative Scott Balstad resigned after having to shift his focus elsewhere. However, his position was quickly filled by wife and active county member, Marlys Balstad. Lee says the board approved the recommendation.

The next topic Lee covered was the expected shortage of 2021 Highway Funding. The estimated reduction is 20%. For Polk County, that would equal roughly $1.4 million. Approximately $900 thousand would be for projects and the rest is for road construction itself. However, there are option available to compensate for the shortage.

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The CARES Act Funding was next on the agenda. Lee says further discussion is needed with cities and townships in the county in order to find out the exact monetary assistance provided for loses related to the COVID pandemic.

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Lee says at the county level the public health department is the largest area where COVID resources have been funneled to, as that is where the concern mainly lies. Cases in the county are increasing, which means more contact tracing is required. Lee concludes that the expenses in this department are something to keep on eye on going forward in this pandemic.

The final piece-of-business was about the Wild Rice Marsh Watershed. Lee says the committee, which she is on, plans to hold a public commentary from August 10th to October 10th to determine what the next best move is for the Watershed Plan. She urges people in the area who are affected by this to leave comments.