Mike Bubany, David Drown & Associates, reviewed funding options for the renovation and expansion of the Fillmore County jail at the county board’s April 11 meeting.
At the last board meeting, a motion to move forward with the project along with the EOC/Training room was tabled. Only four commissioners had been present at that meeting, as chairman Larry Hindt was absent.
Today, Bubany offered four scenarios. Two didn’t include bonding for maintenance costs of current building including exterior wall rework, replacement of windows, and roofing. Consensus was to include these costs in the amount of $310,000 in the bonding total, rather than pay out of building maintenance funds. Two scenarios included $900,000 of cash that is in a current fund balance and flagged to be used for law enforcement building remodel.
Scenario #2 included both the maintenance costs for the current building and the $900,000 cash in the current fund balance. In this scenario the total project cost is $11,266,828. This total less the $4 million plus of ARPA dollars, insurance/discount, less premium, and cash brings the total to be bonded to approximately $6,050,000. This will add 0.489% to the county’s tax rate.
Bubany explained it is required to include an additional 5% when setting the tax levy for bond payment. The net levy increase will be offset by the payoff of the current outstanding bond from 2010 in the amount of $270,000. That bond will be paid off in February 2024. The final levy for those bonds takes place this year. That amount of revenue will be available for taxes payable in 2024 without taxpayer impact.
County Administrator Bobbie Hillery said scenario #2 will have the impact of an additional $200,000 on the levy, or less than a 2% increase. It was noted that the actual levy increase in any given year can still be affected by other budget increases. Each individual taxpayer can also be affected by property valuation changes.
One item not included in the project is a commercial kitchen. The kitchen will be only a serving kitchen.
A motion was made to take last week’s motion off the table, and it was amended to proceed with scenario #2. The amended motion to move forward with the project with EOC/Training room and maintenance items was approved unanimously. This will allow Bubany to work with Bruce Schwartzman, BKV Group, on the best closing date.
County attorney Brett Corson explained the purpose of the ordinance is to regulate the sale of hemp derived cannabinoid products. He presented a draft of the ordinance. The draft will be brought back at the April 25 meeting. Commissioner Duane Bakke said they should hold off until the legislature gets something passed that could potentially conflict with this draft. Hillery added the Senate and House currently are not on the same page. There will be a public hearing regarding the ordinance. Corson said his concern is enforcement of any regulations. Enforcement will fall back on the counties. The county is looking at an effective date of July 1 for the ordinance, once approved.
Other business in brief
• A grant application for a Fillmore County Victim Services Program was approved. The county is asking the state for a grant in the amount of $240,339.82. No match will be required. Two people with separate duties are needed for the county to provide its own victim services: a victim witness coordinator (attorney’s office) and a victim’s advocate (community services). The Olmsted County grant providing these services runs out at the end of September.
• Tom Jensen, Community Corrections director, said he had received notice of the award of a REAM (remote electronic alcohol monitoring) grant in the amount of $2,000 for each of two fiscal years from the state. The grant was accepted.
• A request for a letter of support from Brad Anderson, district 9, was discussed. The letter is in regard to a change in the formula of funding for the aging (Older American Act). Wanda Berg said the request for support is questioning a formula which heavily favors seven metro counties. Funding helps with meals on wheels, homemaking services, and transportation for the elderly. This will be brought back to a future meeting when more information has been collected.
• Justin Ristau was hired as a replacement Maintenance Specialist for the Spring Valley Shop effective May 1.
• The next meeting of the county board will be held on April 25.