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Dunn County searching for new county manager

By LeAnn R. Ralph

MENOMONIE  —  As of June 5, Dunn County has received 21 applications for the county manager position.

Dunn County Manager Eugene Smith has notified the county of his intent to resign later this summer and expects to leave the position in September.

Joann Olson, Dunn County’s human resources manager, reported at the June 15 Dunn County Board meeting that the 21 applications had all been received by the June 5 deadline and that the applications would be going to the executive committee for review the week after the county board meeting.

The executive committee will review the applications and will recommend five or six applicants to the county board, Olson said.

Interviews for the county manager’s position are scheduled for July 18, she said.

Smith has worked for Dunn County since March of 2001.

The Neighbors

As of the end of May, the Neighbors of Dunn County is breaking even, said Steve Rasmussen, chair of the Dunn County Board.

The nursing home’s census is up to 91 percent, and the facility is working on a marketing plan, he said.

The facility also is working with different grocery providers for supplies, Rasmussen said.

“The finances look pretty good,” he said.

The Neighbors committee has discussed the possibility of an advisory referendum this fall pertaining to adding a debt levy for the Neighbors to the tax levy, Rasmussen said.

Dunn County taxpayers currently are not paying a debt levy for the Neighbors.

State law allows Dunn County to add a debt levy to the tax levy and to not have the debt levy be included in the revenue limit.

The county would not need a referendum to add a debt levy for the Neighbors to the tax levy, but the committee would be interested in gauging public support for doing so, Rasmussen said.

Other business

In other business, the Dunn County Board:

• Approved a rezone requested by John Higbie, Town of Colfax, of two parcels from General Agriculture (GA) to Intensive Agriculture (IA) to expand the Windmill Dairy facility north of Colfax on county Highway M to better accommodate dry cows and to assist with integrating them back into the herd.

• Approved a resolution authorizing an agreement with Eau Claire County for medical examiner services. Dunn County is negotiating a contract with Eau Claire County for Dunn County to provide medical examiner services to Eau Claire County. The contract is expected to increase the medical examiner budget by $250,000 for 2016. The 2017 medical examiner budget is expected to be $425,000.  No increase in the tax levy is expected for Dunn County residents since the contract will require Eau Claire County to be responsible for all costs related to Eau Claire County cases.

• Approved a resolution endorsing pollinator-friendly policies and practices, including avoiding the use of insecticides that contain neonicotinoids. Bees, butterflies, some birds, bats and other insects are responsible for pollinating 75 percent of the world’s flowering plants and 35 percent of the world’s food crops. Pollinators are being threatened due to the loss of habitat and the use of pesticides.