NEW ULM – Brown County Commissioners unanimously approved the proposed 2022 property tax levy for certification on Tuesday.
The action came on a motion by Commissioner Scott Windschitl, seconded by Tony Berg.
The proposed levy of $ 14,848,728 is 5.81% higher than the certified 2021 levy and based on a proposed county budget of $ 43,418,086 for 2022.
“This corresponds to what we have done the other years”, said Berg.
Windschitl said the proposed tax levy will continue to be refined and revised until the final budget and levy are passed at an equal or lower amount by commissioners on December 21, 2021 following a public meeting.
The commissioners unanimously approved:
• A public meeting on the 2022 County Budget and Levy Proposal for 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 14, 2021 in the District Courtroom on the Third Floor of the Courthouse and revise the meeting start time of county council of December 14, 2021 at 4:30 a.m.
• Planning Commission recommendations, including an application by Travis Richert on property owned by Gary Richert, Section 18, Township of Bashaw, to continue to allow the use of an 855 animal weaning unit to complete the ‘operation in the agricultural protection zoning district. The action came on a motion by Commissioner Dean Simonsen, seconded by Jeff Veerkamp.
• A $ 22,300 quote from GSM (Gag Sheet Metal) to replace the roof of the Brown County Historical Society (BCHS) museum with a 20-year manufacturer’s warranty, proposed by Commissioner Dave Borchert, seconded by Berg.
The BCHS approved the allocation of $ 10,000 for the roofing project. County share is the remaining $ 12,300 with additional amount to be determined, for decking replacement.
Laraway Roofing submitted a bid of $ 23,995. Sandmann Roofing Systems would not be able to complete the project in 2021.
• Motion of $ 116,280 from Trane to improve HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) controls, subject to the approval of the Enforcement Center Committee, motion by Windschitl, seconded by Veerkamp. Borchert abstained.
Brown County LEC has experienced two BCU panel failures this year. Trane replaced one of the BCU panels with a used panel from another site and reset the second BCU panel to reestablish communication, according to a September 3, 2021 letter from Trane Company Account Manager Russ Prososki to the Facilities Manager from Brown County Jesse Kral.
“It is strongly recommended that you upgrade as soon as possible. “ read the letter. “Trane cannot guarantee used parts and / or the availability of such parts. Another failure could result in significant downtime with an upgrade being performed, if not planned in advance. Typical delivery times on new controllers are 8-10 weeks.
The upgrade would not be a levy factor, as Brown County’s 2022 budget has $ 143,500 in the capital improvement fund.
Based on the cost breakdown established, the updates would be paid for with $ 23,256 from Brown County, $ 22,130 from the New Ulm Police Department and $ 70,894 from the capital improvement from the Sheriff’s Office.
• Accept the transfer of a house as part of an estate recovery and pay an estate lawyer to assist in the sale of the house, motion of Windschitl, second to Berg.
A person living in Brown County received approximately $ 250,000 in medical assistance (MA) several years ago. At the time of the person’s death, the spouse remained in the household and there was no estate recovery. The spouse recently passed away and the house, valued at around $ 120,000, is now available for sale.
The family understands the financial obligation owed to the state and county for MA paid on behalf of the person. They do not wish to sell the house and ask the county to accept the house on a transfer.
• An agreement with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for public access works to the river along CR 11, proposed by Borchert, seconded by Berg.
The access has suffered extensive damage in recent years due to heavy rains and flooding from the Cottonwood River. County and MNR staff created a new layout to protect the new access and limit future erosion.
MNR will provide heavy equipment, concrete slabs and labor while the county will provide stones, steel anchors, ramps and labor. The work is expected to be completed this fall.
The estimated costs to the county are $ 300 for 10 tons of ballast, $ 400 for 20 anchor poles and steel guardrails, and 8 hours of work and a Sentence to Service team.
• Hired Schultz Plumbing for an estimated $ 4,083.33 project to work on the Lake Hanska County Park Shower, motion of Borchert, seconded by Berg.
Searles Well Drilling inspected the septic system and recommended switching to controlled shower fixtures. Three companies were asked to estimate the cost of the project, but only Schultz came to the site.
Fritz Busch can be emailed to [email protected]