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County Board sets final budget and levy for 2013

Fri, Dec 21st, 2012

In the last Fillmore County Board meeting of 2012, the board approved resolutions for the 2013 budget and levy. County Coordinator Karen Brown reviewed the figures. There will be a budget increase of 7.2 percent and a final levy increase of 2.95 percent, numbers which are far lower than preliminary numbers that the board started with over the summer.

Brown noted that a major budget item increase was the almost doubling of the county’s obligation to DFO (Dodge, Fillmore, and Olmsted) Corrections. In 2012 the county contributed $179,971 and in 2013 they will be required to contribute $347,842. There are also substantial increases in system software expenses. County Program Aid from the state will be decreased from $817,964 in 2012 to $659,829 in 2013.

Budgeted revenues and expenditures for road and bridge work increased significantly for 2013. Brown noted the major increase for 2013 will be highway improvements. Commissioner Duane Bakke maintained both intergovernmental revenues and expenditures will increase for road and bridge projects in 2013. Therefore, the county is not really spending 7.2 percent more in 2013 than in 2012 on other regular operating business. Bakke praised everyone’s efforts that helped keep the levy increase down to 2.95 percent.

Other Business In Brief

•The board approved an adjustment to the 2013 Merit Pay Plan to be consistent with the Minnesota Department of Human Services changes. The recommendation from the state was an increase of 1.75 percent for 2013 which the board approved (1.5 percent increase had been budgeted). Brown explained they could not go lower than the minimum or higher than the maximum.

•Salary requests by elected officials for 2013 were made in August and September. The commissioners kept their salary at $20,000 which puts them under the target level of 95 percent of the average of southeast Minnesota counties. The 95 percent of average is $20,728.

The county attorney salary was set at $92,544 as requested with commissioner Marc Prestby voting no. The auditor/treasurer salary was set at $70,337 as requested with a unanimous vote. The recorder salary was set at $60,500 as requested with Prestby and Bakke voting no. The sheriff salary including emergency management pay was set at $86,912 as requested with Prestby voting no.

•Appropriation for non-profits were approved for 2013. One change for 2013 is the appropriation of $3,000 that had went to Fillmore Family Resources in the past that will now go to the newly formed Fillmore Family Advocates.

•There was discussion on how to best handle the payment of commissioners’ warrants for the rest of December. The board will not meet again until January 8, 2013 due to the fact that the holidays are falling on Tuesdays. It was decided to send the list of warrants to each commissioner and the press to be as transparent as possible. The commissioners can pull any item they have a question about. A motion to then pay the bills retroactively on January 8 was approved.

•Commissioner Chuck Amunrud announced that a plan for the Veterans’ Cemetery was submitted to Washington last week for review. He added we are “well on our way.”

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