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County to hire accountant

By Staff | Nov 21, 2010

Tom Loveall

The Faribault County Commissioners dealt with a myriad of personnel issues at their regular meeting last Tuesday.

The list includes hiring new personnel, changing health insurance plans, and voting to freeze wages for themselves and other elected and appointed employees.

Topping the decisions was a unanimous vote to add a staff member in the office of the County Auditor/Treasurer’s office.

“We have known for two years that this would need to be done at some point,” Commissioner Tom Loveall told his fellow commissioners. Loveall is a member of the Personnel Committee.

“Ever since we combined the office of auditor and treasurer, we knew we would have to hire another person to help with the work load,” Loveall says. “We enjoyed the benefits for nearly two years, (of not hiring someone right away) but now we need to fill the spot.”

The board unanimously voted to hire a trained accountant for the position. The salary range would be from $15.73 to $19.95 per hour.

Central Services Director Brenda Ripley also asked the board for permission to advertise for filling the position in the county recorder’s office, which will be vacated by Sherry Asmus.

Asmus was recently elected as the county recorder, and will take over at her new position in January.

“We need to hire someone to replace Sherry, and I would like to post it internally,” Ripley says. That means current county employees would have first chance at the job.

Ripley next asked permission to advertise for someone to replace the person hired for Asmus’ job, if that person is a current county employee.

The board agreed.

The board also voted unanimously to freeze the salaries of all elected officials, appointed officials and non-union county employees for 2011.

That would include the salaries of the commissioners themselves.

The final action by the board was to set a new health insurance option as the base policy. It includes raising the deductible from $1,000 to $5,000.

The board agreed to increase the amount of monthly premium the county would pay, for the first six months, if employees agree to move to the higher deductible plan.

“It will cost us more at first,” Loveall says. “But we need to load the front end of this in order to get the employees to move to the new plan.”

Ripley agreed, saying that in the long run, the plan will be beneficial both for the employees and the county.

In other business, the board also heard an update from County Engineer John McDonald.

The engineer says the snowstorm of Nov. 12-13 did slow down the construction of various projects, but says work on one will continue.

“The swimming pool bridge in Blue Earth now has all of the spans in place,” McDonald told the board. “The crews will now start on the bridge deck.”

McDonald says the construction company still plans on having the bridge completed yet this year.