Commissioners worked through a list of annual resolutions at their first meeting in 2018. County Coordinator Bobbie Vickerman opened the January 2 meeting. Mitch Lentz was elected chairman and Duane Bakke was elected vice-chairman.
Vickerman had been sworn in earlier this day by Judge Matthew Opat as the acting auditor/treasurer for 2018. An auditor/treasurer will be elected to serve his/her term starting in 2019 this November.
Salaries were approved for the elected officials. Commissioner Randy Dahl suggested a 2.5% increase, the same as received by county employees. Basically, all received roughly a 2.5% increase over their 2017 salaries. Commissioner salaries were set at $22,662. Approval was given for $107,000 for the county attorney, $67,500 for the county recorder, and $91,500 for the sheriff. The sheriff also gets a $6,000 stipend for emergency management work.
Minimum base salaries were approved for officials elected in 2018 who will take office in 2019 as required by Minnesota statute. These minimums were set at 90% of 2018 salaries for these positions (county attorney $96,300, county recorder $60,750, and sheriff $82,350. The auditor/treasurer elected in November will have a minimum salary of $71,500 when that individual takes office in 2019.
Other business in brief
• The 2018 non-union and merit pay plans effective January 1 were adopted. The plans include the budgeted 2.5% COLA increase. The phone stipend list was approved. The county will spend approximately $16,000 on cell phone stipends this year.
• The 2018 and 2019 Natural Resources Block Grant Agreement was approved. This includes funding for shoreland, septic treatment systems, local water management, and the Wetland Conservation Act. Donna Rasmussen, SWCD, introduced Caleb Fischer who will oversee Water Management.
• The Transportation Services contract with Semcac Transportation was approved. This is the same contract that was approved last year. It provides payment at half the IRS mileage rate for the unloaded miles for transportation of Medical Assistance clients to medical appointments.
• Annual renewal fees for Homecare association and Homecare license were approved. Annual grants were renewed, including Toward Zero Death (TZD), Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP), and Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP).
• The final payment to Fahrner Asphalt Sealer LLC in the amount of $11,841.26 was approved for the airport chipseal project. County Engineer Ron Gregg was pleased with the results of the chipsealing.
Approval was given to sponsor the city of Rushford to apply for a Safe Route to School Grant. The county acts as a pass through agency for cities with a population less than 5,000.
• Money made from tax forfeiture receipts will be used to pay for the mowing of Bucksnort and Masonic Parks.
• The 2018 mileage reimbursement rate will be 54.5 cents per mile for use of a private vehicle for official county business. The per diem rate for 2018 will be the same as last year at $45.
• Approval was given to continue to reimburse $75 to veteran organizations for Memorial Day ceremonies.
• Approval was given for the county to pay for flu shots for county employees. Bakke commented that anyone who works with the public should get a flu shot.
• The use of the county’s website as an alternative method to disseminate bids was approved.
• The Fillmore County Board of Appeal and Equalization meeting will be held on June 12 at 6:30 p.m.