Policies and procedures were approved and put into place for the recently created Finance Department at the August 13 county board meeting.
Statutory issues which have been analyzed in detail concerning legalities over the creation of the department were resolved. The board sought verification that they would be within statutory requirements with the creation of the finance department.
The classification of the finance director position as recommended by David Drown & Associates was approved. The salary was set for Lori Affeldt, Finance Director, effective August 1.
County Coordinator Bobbie Vickerman reviewed policies and procedures for the finance department: Receipt Policy, Disbursement Policy, Cash Policy (includes cash, checks, and direct deposits), and Payroll Procedures. Auditor/Treasurer Heidi Jones asked about the source for the policies. Vickerman said they were from Winona County. The four policies and procedures were approved with amended language (“another employee” was changed to “A/T”).
Jones had requested a break down of responsibilities for the A/T and the finance department from three counties with an elected A/T and a separate finance department. The break downs were reviewed from Winona, Houston, and Freeborn Counties.
The finance department warrant document (list of warrants) was approved. Commissioners going forward will review finance department warrants instead of auditor’s warrants.
Chairman Duane Bakke stated it will take cooperation between department heads and employees to make this work. He encouraged people to embrace this model and make it successful.
Other business in brief
•The Solid Waste committee decided security cameras are to be placed at all of the remote recycling sites, due to the amount of inappropriate dumping of unrecyclable items and garbage.
•Paul Hajduk, MCIT risk management consultant, gave the annual report for Minnesota Counties Intergovernmental Trust. It is not an insurance company, but is a joint powers entity where members pool resources to provide protections. Fillmore County has been a member of MCIT for 39 of the 40 years it has been managing risks. MCIT covers 81 of Minnesota’s 87 counties.
The county received a dividend from MCIT in 2018 in the amount of $98,341. For 2019 the dividend is to be $79,349.
•County Engineer Ron Gregg presented seven bids for the Wykoff reconstruction project. Two were for work to be completed this year. Five were for work to begin in May of 2020 and to be completed by July 15, 2020. Gregg recommended the low bid from Alcon Excavating, Inc. in the amount of $1,173,448.38. This is a $300,000 savings over the low bid for work to be completed this year. Doing the work next year will be significantly more economical and will not interfere with Wykoff’s Fall Festival. The county’s approval is contingent on the city of Wykoff approving the contract.
•County recorder David Kiehne reviewed his budget numbers, which include the possible addition of a staff member next year. Bakke said they will monitor the use of the temporary worker for Kiehne’s department from now until the end of the year to see if another staff member is needed. The temporary worker was approved at the last meeting.
•Laura Christensen, SWCD District Administrator, was welcomed to Fillmore County. She replaced the recently retired Donna Rasmussen. SWCD’s mission is to provide natural resource stewardship. SWCD has no levy authority. She said $12,000 is needed to update computers. She asked that the SWCD appropriation be increased by $5,000 for 2020.
•Sara Sturgis, new director at the Fillmore County History Center, gave an update of the History Center. She and Assistant Director Bretta Grabau are making some changes, focusing on membership and patrons. The recent 150th celebration in Fountain was successful. She asked for the county’s continued support in 2020.
•Kevin Olson, Social Services Manager, and Diane Olson presented the department’s proposed 2020 budget. There is a $170,280 increase, which is to be reduced with the proposed removal of one office support position (a savings of about $58,000). Vickerman praised Diane Olson’s work on this difficult budget. There is an uncontrolled expense with a $140,000 annual cost for the placement of one child in a Utah facility. Kevin Olson said there is a need for more secure facilities for both adults and youth in Minnesota.
•Jessica Erickson, Director of Nursing, presented the proposed budget for Public Health. She said revenues are up $115,274 and expenses are up $139,809; an increase of $24,535. Bakke maintained that those who work with the public (county employees) should be encouraged to get flu shots.
•Approval was given to advertise for a replacement case aide in social services.
•Jeff Brand, surveyor, presented his 2020 budget; a small increase over last year’s budget.
•Approval was given to buy toner for two existing printers for the assessor’s office. It was determined that this was the most economical way to provide more direct printer access for appraisers in the back office.
•The remodel of the old zoning office was discussed. It will house victims services and possibly women’s shelter, if they are interested in this location. The back room may be equipped for Doctor on Demand and a breast feeding room. Some remodeling may be required.