Commissioners hear geographical, aquifer updates

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 3, 2003

The Mower County geological atlas is a work in progress and county commissioners have heard a report of the latest accomplishments in the massive report.

Jan D. Falteisek, hydrologist supervisor for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources division of waters, joined Moira Campion, DNR staff hydrologist, and John Mossler, senior analyst for the Minnesota Geological Survey, who updated the commissioners on the latest phases of the atlas.

The presentation focused on geologic sensitivity in the county and how the four aquifers and groundwater are impacted by above- and below-ground changes.

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The eastern Mower County geology is dominated by karst deposits, which, along with sinkholes and decreasing cover soils could pose potential pollution concerns.

Jeff Green, another DNR hydrologist, who did an important karst study in 1993 for the county, also presented new atlas information to the commissioners.

Trusting MCIT

John Bower of the Minnesota Counties Insurance Trust updated the commissioners on their coverage.

According to Bower, 81 of 87 counties in the state belong to MCIT, which insures over 30,000 employees and over $2-billion in property.

"I think the program has been so successful because of the loyalty of our members," Bower told the commissioners.

Also having a tort limit to claims helps keep payments down as well as an aggressive program of risk management.

The coverage continues to grow, according to Bower, with the addition of employee dishonest claims added in 2002.

"More people are using our employee assistance plans," Bower said, "which is free to covered employees and their families."

Also Tuesday, the Mower County Board of Commissioners joined in County Government Day with other county offices and staff.

The commissioners greeted students from Grand Meadow, Southland, LeRoy-Ostrander and Lyle at their afternoon meeting.

The commissioners explained their duties and exchanged comments with the students and teachers.

A tour of the Mower County highway department and an up-close look at the equipment and machinery used to maintain the county's over 400 miles of roadway was among the highlights, according to the students, as well as a tour of the jail and meeting a canine unit and handler in the Mower County Sheriff's Office.

Austin American Legion Post No. 91 co-sponsors the day of local government education and awareness with the county.

Lee Bonorden can be contacted at 434-2232 or by e-mail at