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County working to reduce 2009 budget


Fri, Sep 5th, 2008
Posted in Government

PRESTON - County Coordinator Karen Brown detailed the proposed 2009 budget to the Fillmore County Board at their September 2 meeting. Duane Bakke was absent. She explained that overall there will not be an increase in health insurance costs.

The budget as it stood this day would have a 3.9% levy increase. Commissioners Chuck Amunrud and Marc Prestby requested that further adjustments be made to keep the levy increase at 3.6 to 3.7% and below the 3.9% state imposed levy limit. It was the consensus of the board that they would not impose the maximum levy limit. The proposed budget will be brought back for approval next week.

The Highway Department budget as requested by the commissioners last week was reduced by $170,000 for equipment purchases and had $40,000 added in for purchases of road sand and salt. Highway Engineer John Grindeland requested that $60,000 be replaced in the equipment purchase fund in order to purchase a new truck. Amunrud insisted that the fund be held at $0 and that the truck purchase be delayed until next year. Prestby offered to put $10,000 or $15,000 in the fund so that sufficient funds would be available to purchase a mower expected to cost $5,000. Grindeland argued that his proposal would show no increase at all in his budget since there was nearly a $30,000 decrease in health insurance premiums. The board agreed to put $10,000 in the equipment purchase fund. The highway budget will be slightly smaller than in 2008.

• Grindeland asked the board to approve compensation for one of the office employees for working out of her class to cover for a higher grade accountant position while that person was on a twelve week maternity leave. Karen Brown noted that there was precedent for this as it has been done for two elected officials. A floater will come in and help cover the workload of the person working out of her class. Brown noted that an employee has to be gone a minimum of 30 days for the temporary upgrade to be used.

Prestby insisted that in a private company the work load would be redistributed and no extra compensation would be necessary. Amunrud suggested that a private company would hire a temporary employee. Grindeland stated that hiring a temporary employee would not be feasible because of the extraordinary knowledge needed for an accountant to understand the rules and regulations of MnDot and State Aid. The resolution to compensate the employee up to $600 total for the twelve week period for working above her classification was approved with Prestby opposing.

• Grindeland asked the board to award the contract for the County 5 project to the lowest bidder, Park Construction, Hampton, Minnesota. The $1,635,929.67 bid was the lowest of five bids. The board approved the low bid.

Zoning Administrator

Brown said that at this point they had received very few applications to replace the retiring Norman Craig as Zoning Administrator. The board approved the widening of the advertising to larger newspapers to find a suitable replacement.

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