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Beltrami County asked to approve union contract

Beltrami County commissioners will be asked to ratify today a union contract for highway workers calling for no salary increase.

The one-year contract with the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 49, also known as the 49'ers, is a one-year pact for 2011 and is the first of several union contracts yet to be settled.

The county highway workers' union contract is part of the County Board's regular 5 p.m. meeting today at the County Administration Building, 701 Minnesota Ave.

Among other provisions, the county will increase its share if medical insurance by $50 to $790 per month, and to allow one maintenance worker to receive licensure to appropriately handle explosives and blasting at $200 extra per month.

The contract includes a "Me Too" clause, where the 49'ers would receive any increase that the county negotiated with another non-essential union during the year.

Also on the regular agenda is a request to fill a full-time highway accountant position internally within Beltrami County.

At the County Board's 3 p.m. work session, commissioners will hear an update on activities of the Bemidji Office of the state Department of Corrections and receive the annual report of the Giziibii Resource Conservation & Development Association.

Commissioners will also hear from County Human Services staff on its pilot project, Beltrami Works, which is engineered to help people off welfare to jobs.

The board's consent agenda includes county bills and warrant payment listing, and approval of a lawful gambling raffle for the Blackduck Fire Relief Association involving a fishing tournament on Blackduck Lake.

Commissioners will also be asked to approve the use $18,729 from Small Cities Development Program income as down payment assistance for for programs administered by the Housing and Redevelopment Authority, or for gap financing administered by the Headwaters Housing Development Corp.

The consent agenda also includes adopting a revised solid waste service fee abatement policy,

The board will consider the reappointment of Commissioner Joe Vene to the North Country Community Health Services Advisory Committee, approval of time off credit for the county recorder, approval of contracts for the Beltrami Works pilot project, approval of parent support outreach grant for 2011, approval of host county contracts for Minnesota Health Care Programs Access Transportation and Social Service Transportation, and approval of Rural Minnesota CEP contract.

Commissioners will also receive monthly health and human services reports and licensing.