County Administrator Bobbie Vickerman called the first county board meeting of 2020 to order on January 7. Marc Prestby was elected board chair and Randy Dahl was elected vice-chair.
Vickerman announced a Community and Economic Development Associates (CEDA) staffing change. Marty Walsh came forward with his replacement, Chris Hahn. Hahn who has been with CEDA for about six months will take over as the EDA director for the county. Walsh has accepted a position with Peoples Cooperative Services. He noted that their territory reaches into northwest Fillmore County.
Hahn is from Winona and also teaches marketing at Winona State. His priorities are work force development and education. The first quarter payment in the amount of $10,120.25 to CEDA was approved.
Annual business items
•A resolution to dedicate a portion of tax forfeiture receipts to parks was approved.
•Board meetings will be held on the first, second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at 9 a.m. There are a few exceptions: the June 23 meeting will be at 3 p.m., followed later by the Board of Appeal & Equalization hearing at 6:30 pm, December 1 meeting will be at 3 pm, followed by the Truth in Taxation hearing at 6:30 p.m., and the second meeting in December will be on the third Tuesday, December 15.
•The per diem was set at $45 per day and mileage reimbursement will be set at the IRS rate (currently .575 cents per mile).
•Elected official salaries for 2020 were approved. Commissioners will receive an annual salary of $23,693; county attorney $117,750; sheriff $108,045; auditor/treasurer $79,500; and recorder $73,750. The chief deputy contract and salary of $92,712 was approved.
•The hourly rate for temporary entry level staff in appointed offices was set at grade 3/step 1 ($12.99/hour). Commissioner Mitch Lentz voted no.
•A Memorial Day resolution for reimbursement of expenses for veteran organization ceremonies was again approved.
•Overnight stays were authorized for elected officials, department heads and division leaders to attend their respective professional association of Minnesota conferences.
•Linda Hennessey was appointed as the Fillmore County representative for Southeast Libraries Cooperating (SELCO).
•The county’s website www.co.fillmore.mn.us will be used as an alternative method to disseminate solicitation of bids.
•F & M Community Bank was designated the bank for deposits in 2020. Lentz suggested that they go out for bids in the future to make sure they are getting the best service available.
• The Bluff Country Reader submitted the low bid and will be the Official Newspaper for 2020, which will include the publication of the 2019 delinquent tax list.
•A list of annual payments for membership dues to various associations, the 2020 Workers Compensation renewal ($108,552) and 2020 Property/Liability renewal ($146,309) to MCIT, and the first quarter payment ($107,887.50) to Dodge-Fillmore-Olmsted (DFO) were approved.
Other business in brief
•An extension to the temporary assignment for Sandy Solberg not to exceed six months in the Recorder’s Office was approved. She is working specifically on abstracts. Advertisement internally and externally for a half-time Office Support Specialist, Sr. position in the Recorder’s Office was approved. Vickerman noted they are trying to follow the county’s policy for temporary employees by opening up the part-time position to the public.
•The 2020 non-union pay plan was adopted with a 2.5% adjustment. The updated non-union classification chart was approved.
•The resignation of Deborah Dunn, accounting technician, effective January 10 was approved with thanks for her service. The advertisement for two replacement accounting technicians in the auditor/treasurer’s office was approved.
•The resignation of Angela Serfling, PHN, effective January 31 was approved with thanks for her service. Approval was given to hire from a list for preplacement RN/PHN in Public Health.
•Auditor/Treasurer Heidi Jones designated Sheila Buenger, lead account technician in the assessor’s office, to perform the duties in the absence of a county assessor until an appointment is made. No board action was required.
•An access permit was approved for a driveway to a property owned by Michael and Diane Thompson, section 13 of Carimona Township. There is currently no access to the property (a new parcel) from CR 15.
•At the last meeting of 2019 a new price list was approved for the county’s Resource Recovery Center. Drew Hatzenbihler, solid waste administrator, explained haulers need time to amend city contracts. Therefore, the new pricing for licensed haulers was delayed until April 1.
•A Semcac Head Start Nursing Consultation Services Agreement was approved based on no concern of liability from the county attorney’s office.
• Jessica Erickson, director of nursing, noted that President Trump signed a bill to raise the legal age for purchasing tobacco products to 21. Cities and counties are still encouraged to consider what age is appropriate for the purchase of tobacco products.