Thirty-seven Waseca County businesses have received $185,000 from the state’s latest COVID-19 relief funds.

This is the last week Waseca County can dole out the $359,051 it received from the state for business COVID-19 relief. On the applications, business owners included the total financial impact of Gov. Tim Walz’s executive orders in recent months. The county originally capped the relief grants at $5,000, but with money left over, County Administrator said they plan to give the remaining funds to businesses who indicated a need of more than $5,000.

The update on the business grants was one of several short items on the Waseca County Board’s agenda Tuesday. The board also approved a new solar farm, a purchase agreement with the Waseca Area Senior Center and salary increases for county employees.

The board approved a conditional use permit for a 1-megawatt community solar farm on 5 acres in St. Mary Township that will be operated by Everson Garden LLC, which is part of Nokomis Energy LLC. The solar farm will be 1,300 feet north of Old Highway 14 and will be slightly visible from the roadway. A glare study determined that it should have little impact on drivers.

The board approved an agreement to purchase 5,000 square feet of the East Annex building on State Street from the Waseca Area Senior Center for $113,641. The purchase brings the entire East Annex building under county ownership and the purchased space currently houses the Waseca Soil and Water Conservation District, University of Minnesota Extension and 4-H. The extensive repairs needed for the roof and the needed upgrades to the HVAC system were factored into the purchase price. Johnson didn’t return the Waseca County News’ request for more information about the purchase.

The board also approved an agreement with the Minnesota Public Employee Association union that included a 1.5% general wage increase for 2021. The board also approved a 1.5% general wage increase for non-union county employees.

Reach Associate Editor Lisa Kaczke at 507-444-2371. ©Copyright 2021 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All rights reserved.

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