Board rebuffs move to leave CTIB, rescind sales tax

Pulkrabek move to leave board, rescind quarter-cent tax delayed indefinitely

Bill Pulkrabek

A move to pull Washington County out of a regional transit group and rescind a quarter-cent sales tax was delayed indefinitely by the Board of Commissioners Tuesday.

Commissioner Bill Pulkrabek asked the board to consider withdrawing from the Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB) and rescind a quarter-cent sales tax used to fund CTIB.

Pulkrabek has been critical of CTIB and the sales tax in the past. He put the issue back on the board’s table prior to commissioners adjourning Tuesday’s meeting.

Immediately after Pulkrabek made his motion that was seconded by Commissioner Autumn Lehrke, Commissioner Gary Krielsel offered a motion delaying board action on Pulkrabek’s proposal until after the fall election and a meeting with the county’s legislative delegation to discuss transit issues.

Kriesel reminded commissioners that the group’s draft legislative agenda for the 2013 session includes consolidating the region’s transit governing boards.

“There are huge ramifications with that,” he said.

Another effect of Kriesel’s motion was to stop debate on the issue, according to George Kuprian, the board’s legal counsel and parliamentarian.

“Is that a motion for a time certain, a date certain,” Kuprian said. “It has to be a date certain or indefinite.”

When Kriesel said he would move to indefinitely stop consideration of Pulkrabek’s motion, Kuprian said the move stops debate on the CTIB and sales tax issue.

“As your parliamentarian, you have to choose a date,” Kuprian said. “It’s postponed indefinitely until it’s put back on the agenda.”

Kriesel’s motion passed 3-2, with Pulkrabek and Lehrke dissenting.

In other action Tuesday, the board:

n Approved a $269,000 grant to the Sheriff’s Office from the state Department of Public Safety to help pay for various enhanced traffic enforcement in the county.

Sheriff Bill Hutton said his office serves as the grant’s fiscal agent, with the funds paid out to police departments in the county that participate with the DPS and WCSO on traffic enforcement efforts.

“The grant pays for overtime for the departments and officers out there working,” Hutton said.

The sheriff said the grant helps fund high-visibility traffic enforcement efforts like enhanced DWI, seatbelt and child safety seat and speed violation patrols.

“It’s a team approach,” he said. “We saturate an area. Our enforcement actions are very much needed.”

n Learned that the WCSO collected about 150 pounds of returned prescription drugs during Saturday’s “Drug Take Back” at the Government Center in Stillwater.

Hutton said the amount collected Saturday was less than was collected at past collections, but he attributed that to residents dropping off unused or out-of-date prescription medicines at the WCSO collection bin at the Law Enforcement Center in Stillwater.

O’Rourke said the Law Enforcement Center bin has proven to be such a success that county officials are considering additional drop-off boxes in Forest Lake and Cottage Grove.

Proscription drugs collected at the drop box and “take back” events are to a secure facility for disposal.