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Auditor/Treasurer Department expansion


Fri, Jan 25th, 2013
Posted in All Government

A new leg of redesign was discussed at length at the January 22 meeting of the county board. Fillmore County is taking a first step toward centralizing finance in the Auditor/Treasurer Department. Financing functions of Social Services including accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll, and reporting will be the first to move under the umbrella of the Auditor/Treasurer office.

Kristina Kohn, Human Resources, explained that the discussion began with the upcoming retirement of long time Social Service Fiscal Officer Danette Steinmetz, effective February 28. The intention is to hire an Account Tech who would have lower salary requirements. The Account Tech would work under Auditor/Treasurer Shirl Boelter. Kohn said the county would have a significant savings on salary and there would be a second layer available in Boelter’s department for backup in the event the Account Tech would be unable to work for some reason.

Boelter noted that Clay County has been doing centralized financing since 1999. Commissioner Chuck Amunrud suggested Boelter would have added responsibilities and asked if additional compensation had been considered. Boelter maintained that there are unknowns, including how the process will work and how easy it will be to implement the changes.

The discussion also included moving Public Health toward central financing. Commissioner Randy Dahl asked how much Boelter’s office could absorb at one time. Boelter insisted the changes shouldn’t make it harder for the public. Centralization should coincide with a convenience for the tax payer. She said that eventually Highway (accounts receivable and backup for payroll) could be included in the redesign of financing.

Sheriff Daryl Jensen said that his office has always had one person to take care of the finances. He wasn’t ready to say it would work to move this function to the Auditor/Treasurer Department. Jensen suggested they should take a look at how it works for other counties. He was concerned about increasing liabilities.

The board approved the advertising for an Account Technician to take up the responsibilities of the retiring Social Services Fiscal Officer. The job responsibilities will shift to the Auditor/Treasurer Department. Commissioner Duane Bakke made a motion to direct Community Services to have a discussion about moving payroll and accounts receivable responsibilities from Public Health to Auditor/Treasurer. The motion was approved.

4-H Summer Intern

LeeAnn Howard, Minnesota Extension, updated the board on the 4-H program. Upcoming events include Project Bowl which will have seven or eight teams competing at a regional contest in March, involving more than 40 kids and 20 adults. The Favorite Food Show is in March which is usually held at the Wykoff Community Center. Current enrollment in the 4-H program is 326 kids and 96 adults.

The board approved the hire of a summer intern with a maximum budget of $3,500. Applications are now open for anyone enrolled in a four year university. The internship will be for eight weeks. Responsibilities include day camps throughout the county, preparation of skillathons, interview questions, scheduling livestock interviews and award for the Livestock Interview Process, and assisting with preparation and follow up to the county fair.

Other Business In Brief

•The Board of Appeal and Equalization is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on June 18 with a backup date of June 25.

•Approval was given for the purchase of a laser jet pro printer at the low quote of $527.97 from CDW for Feedlot. Michael Frauenkron, Feedlot Officer, was welcomed back after a long absence. He noted that SWCD had taken over for him since June and thanked them for their assistance during his absence. He reviewed 2013 Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Delegation Agreement and 2012 Feedlot program year end report.

•David Kiehne, Recorder, reviewed his annual report for 2012. He noted there had been a large increase in recording this past year. One hundred percent of all paper documents (including 5,307 Abstract documents and 13 Torrens documents) submitted in recordable form were returned in 10 business days or less. One hundred percent of all electronically recorded documents (273) were returned in five business days or less.

Kiehne said there had been a large increase in electronic recording this year. He announced that the project to digitize all books is now complete, adding that this speeds up the search factor for all old documents tremendously.

•Bakke related that during Highway Committee turn backs of municipal state aid projects were discussed. He noted that turnbacks to the cities are not allowed until the county portion of road in the city is 25 years old. This discourages turnbacks. Bakke said the state should allow a more immediate turnback after construction.

If the road is given back or turned back to a city, state funding is cut off. Therefore, it would be most advantageous for these sections of road to be kept in the county while working out something with the cities for maintenance (snow removal).

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