Martin County commissioners on Tuesday approved a motion to accept the retirement resignation of County Auditor/Treasurer James Forshee who will retire effective July 5. Mr. Forshee in his retirement letter to the board said “ It’s been an honor to serve the citizens of Martin County for the past 16 years and 6 months and to work with past and present boards and employees of the county”.

The board heard an update from Sarah Eischens, district supervisor for the Sentence to Serve program. Along with crew leader Jon McDonald, Eischens shared information concerning the fourth quarter of 2018.

“We had about 45 crew members, and out of that 45, 18 completed their hours,” Eischens said. “They were able to pay off $4,238 in fines, $172 in fees and completed 1,878 hours over the quarter.”

Commissioners also approved motions to sponsor the cities of Welcome and Sherburn for 2019 local road improvement funds,approved a motion to allow County Engineer Kevin Peyman to sign a contract with the Minnesota Department of Transportation for payment in the amount of $2,262 for use of county roads 32 and 39 as a detour during upcoming construction work on Interstate 90.

The board also passed a resolution to authorize Martin County Emergency Management Director Abigail Nesbit to sign an Emergency Management Performance Grant Program agreement in the amount of $22,471.

Commissioners on Tuesday heard from Kassy Dumke, a biologist from Ducks Unlimited, concerning a prairie wetland restoration project. “We’re working on an acquisition of 147 acres in Fox Lake Township,” she said. “The cool thing about this acquisition is that it’s really showing what conservation groups are doing in Martin County. We’re really targeting our work in areas where we can build upon our existing complexes and make them better.

The land will be situated between the Rooney Run and Seymour Lake wildlife management areas.

Dumke said that while the land is owned by Ducks Unlimited, it will be responsible for all taxes. Later, the land will be donated to the state, at which point the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will make a payment in lieu of taxes.