Board learns demand for gun permits remains heavy in Isanti County

The Isanti County Board on April 17 learned just how busy county staff has been with processing gun permits, while gun control continues to be a hot topic of debate among both elected leaders and the public around the nation.

After some discussion with Chief Deputy Bill Guenther, the board approved a part-time administrative assistant in records to help with the permits, thus cutting down on the amount of overtime that is squeezing the department’s budget. Proceeds from the permits are expected to cover the new position.

Guenther said there are about 60 permit-to-carry permits pending at this time, while the clerical staff continues to work long hours to keep up with the demand. Processing gun permits could keep county staff busy over the next few years, he noted

In another matter, the sheriff’s chief deputy received board approval for the 2013 Boat/Water Safety Grant in the amount of $6,343.

The board also accepted the resignation of part-time jailer Diane Wiss, who will fill the Isanti County Public Health administrative assistant position.

Prescribed burn

County commissioners agreed to coordinate a prescribed burn in maintaining the 1 acre of native vegetation on the south side of the government center.

In 2007, the Master Gardener program was approved to restore the single acre of turf grass into native prairie vegetation. In addition to its natural beauty, the benefits of having this acre of native prairie include helping control storm water runoff from the government center building and parking lot, along with the low cost of maintenance because it does not require weekly mowing, watering, fertilizer or use of pesticides, Isanti County Parks Director Barry Wendorf presented.

The burn will take place after regular business hours between the months of April and May. Wind direction, humidity and precipitation will determine the exact timing of the burn.

In park news, commissioners agreed to purchase two fishing blocks for $900 to be installed at Becklin Homestead County Park. A $1,000 donation has been given by the Isanti County Sportsman’s Club for the purchase and installation of the blocks, Wendorf said.