WORTHINGTON – During the first Nobles County Board of Commissioners meeting of 2021, Gene Metz was elected as board chair by the rest of the commission, while Don Linssen was elected vice chair. New Commissioner Bob Paplow was sworn in shortly before the meeting started.
New this year, the Globe and Johnson Publishing got together and presented the board with a joint bid for services for publication of notices in the county. Each year, the commissioners vote on what the legal newspaper for the county will be, and there have been several times over the years when Johnson Publishing has made an attempt to get the designation from the Globe.
Gerald Johnson, who owns the Murray County News, Tri County News, Fulda Free Press, Nobles County Review and Murray County AdVantage, set up a similar agreement years ago in Murray County after the Murray County News and the Wheel/Herald were undercutting each other to get the contract. The two papers joined forces and presented one bid, sharing in the proceeds and getting an opportunity to name their own price.
Last year, Johnson attended the first session of the year to make an attempt against the Globe, but was unsuccessful. This year, the joint agreement allows both publishing companies to be designated as the legal paper.
According to the bid, the papers will publish legal notices at a price of $14.44 a column inch.
In other county business, a proposed upgrade and remodel to the Auditor/Treasurer area of the Government Center was given the thumbs up to the tune of just under $153,000. A bid for the remodel was awarded to Tri-State General Contracting on a 4-1 vote, with Commissioner Justin Ahlers the lone nay vote.
Ahlers stated he did not believe this is the time to spending money that was not budgeted for – the funding will come from the building reserve.
Commissioners Don Linssen and Bob Demuth commented that an upgrade to that area had been “kicked down the road” for years, with Linssen stating he had been down in the area when customer and clients were irate, and that the remodel would improve employee safety.
Shortly after the vote to approve the spending on the remodel, commissioners denied a request from Nobles County Sheriff Kent Wilkening for continuation of paid coverage benefits upon retirement of elected officials. During that discussion, Linssen stated this was not the opportune time to be spending money.