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Eight solar projects approved: Goodhue County Board briefs

Solar Stone proposed a conditional-use permit in Florence Township for a 5-megawatt utility scale energy system occupying 31 acres. Goodhue County commissioners were told the solar system will not create offensive odor, fumes, dust, noise or vibration.

Innovative Power Systems sought several 1-megawatt solar projects. Stuhr, Webster, Betcher, Huneke, Huneke, Koester and Conzemius are among the seven lots composed of 6-8 acres for a permit.

The board approved all the permits.

Meeting watch

The Feb. 21 Goodhue County Board lasted one hour. A 30-minute closed session was held beforehand concerning labor negotiations. All five commissioners were present.

— compiled by Kit Murray, staff writer


Health & Human Services Board

Child protection workers worn thin

Kris Johnson, supervisor of child and family, presented the 2016 Social Services report on Tuesday to the Goodhue County Health and Human Service Board. Trends show that methamphetamine abuse has risen as well as sexual abuse and multi-issue families, such as homelessness and mental illness. Johnson stated that the county does not have enough staff to support the caseload.

The state recommends a child protection case manager for every 10 cases, whereas Goodhue County has 15 for every one employee. Last year $34,729.56 was spent in overtime wages.

Commissioners moved to approve one position for Health and Human Services to help with paperwork and billing. The motion passed 4-1, with Commissioner Barney Nesseth voting against it.


Health and Human Services will be holding it's one-year celebration day March 14, 2017. The anniversary is intended to bring to light the employees and their hard work. It will also be titled Goodhue County Health and Human Services Day.

Commissioners also voted on a replacement for board member Meg Walsh, who will be stepping down this spring. Nominated by Commissioner Paul Drotos, Susan Johnson will be taking an official oath next month. "I feel like it's a pretty good fit for me right now in my life," she said.

Kit Murray

Kit Murray joined Red Wing Republican Eagle in Aug. 2016, covering government, transportation and public safety. She is a graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead with a degree in photojournalism and philosophy. 

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