Kittson County commissioners pose for a photo with Purple Heart veterans to officially designate the county as a Purple Heart county. Back, l-r, Joe Bouvette and Corey Wikstrom; Middle, Leon Olson, Betty Younggren and Theresia Gillie; Front, are veterans Randy Krantz, Doug Thompson and Everett Englund. (Enterprise Photo by Anna Jauhola)
By Anna Jauhola
Kittson County has eight living Purple Heart recipients, five of whom live in Karlstad.
This astonishing fact led Wayne Jacobson, veteran services officer, to apply for Kittson County to become a Purple Heart County.
On Sept. 18, the county board of commissioners officially passed a resolution declaring Kittson County to be a Purple Heart County. In a short ceremony, they recognized the veterans for their service and sacrifice.
Purple Heart veterans who attended the ceremony were Randy Krantz, Doug Thompson and Everett Englund. Others still living in the county are Adam Anderson and Barry Lund. Purple Heart veterans living outside the county are Brian Sjodin, Neil Wikstrom and Kenneth Gorsuch.
Soon signs will grace several posts to notify motorists of the designation as they enter the county, including:
• One on each end of Highways 75, 59 and 11;
• One on Highway 175 entering Minnesota;
• One each on Highways 14 and 9 outside Karlstad;
• One on Highway 220 at the Kittson/Marshall line; and
• One on Highway 10 on the Kittson/Roseau line.
“These vets deserve the signs,” Jacobson said after the meeting. “We’re trying to cover all the tar roads that lead into Kittson County.”
Upon receiving approval to be designated a Purple Heart County, Jacobson received two free signs. But the rest of the signs must be purchased. The good news is, many have already stepped forward to donate to the cause, Jacobson said.
Each sign costs $40. To donate and help pay for additional signs, you can contact Jacobson at 218-843-2198.
The county will bolt the Purple Heart signs to the posts of the Kittson County signs at the aforementioned locations.
Jacobson said the veterans he’s talked to about the signs and designation have been appreciative. Through Jacobson’s efforts, each of these veterans receives a free lifetime membership in the Military Order of the Purple Heart.
In other business, the board:
• Approved the hire of Beth Seed, of Hallock, as the new eligibility worker to start Oct. 8 at $17.86 per hour. Social Service Director Kathy Johnson noted she and the interview committee had eight good candidates to choose from and interviewed the top five, who were all local.
• Heard from Shawn Anderson, county maintenance foreman, on various projects. He said all regravel projects and dust control are complete, and contract mowing of ditches is nearly complete. He added that a state crew ground down bumps on Highway 1 to smooth out the road, which was at the expense of the state.
• Heard from County Engineer Kelly Bengtson foundation and electric work is done for intersection lighting for Hawkyard Corner on Highway 175 and the Two Rivers Turnpike/Highway 75, but installation has been delayed due to manufacturing. Poles were supposed to ship Sept. 21 to the contractor.
• Approved an agreement between the county and TriMin for the IFS accounting system.
• Approved bid of $3,000 from Ben Urie to remodel the upstairs conference room in the courthouse, contingent upon checking whether Urie is or needs to be bonded, licensed and insured to do the work.
• Approved the purchase of a 65-inch Promethean interactive touch board for $2,862 for use in the courthouse.
• Set the December county board meeting to run in conjunction with the annual Truth in Taxation meeting. Board meeting will start at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 6 and Truth in Taxation will begin at 6 p.m., all at the courthouse in Hallock.
• Approved the bills.