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County not happy with increases

By Staff | Sep 9, 2012

The Faribault County Board of Commissioners discussed the proposed budget and levy for 2013 at their meeting on Tuesday.

They set the preliminary levy at a 2.5 percent increase, which will be adjusted and finalized in December.

The Board of Commissioners can decide to lower the set levy but cannot exceed the number they have set.

The increase stirred up debate with the commissioners, especially when it came to the $150,000 increase proposed for the public works budget.

John McDonald, county engineer, has proposed to add to his budget for the next three years at this amount.

The increase will go toward the bituminous overlay for road projects that have been put on hold in the past.

“Is there a way to structure this to make sure this money is going toward the bituminous?”?Commissioner Tom Loveall asks. “That’s how it’s being pitched to us.”

The board agreed that it would be something to keep their eyes on this year.

The Faribault County Economic Development Authority’s previous budget request of $50,000 was also brought into discussion, due to a visit from Tim Penny on behalf of Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF).

Penny came to the meeting to discuss ways that SMIF?can become a more involved resource for Faribault County.

SMIF?has provided 22 businesses in the region with start-up loans. They also provide support for schools and early childhood education.

“We have been in touch with the EDA?here in the past,”?Penny says. “We will plan to stop by again while we’re in town.”

Commissioner Bill Groskreutz felt that SMIF?should go through the County EDA.

“The only way I will support this budget allocation is if a portion is to go to SMIF, through EDA, not us,”?he says.

After all of the discussion, the preliminary budget and levy was approved and will be set in December for the 2013 year.

In other business;

McDonald discussed progress with road projects in the county and the shift of focus from County Road 19 to County Road 13.

“There is some stress on 13 from the Highway 109 project. So, we are taking the gravel for those repairs instead of 19,” McDonald says.

The cost of the repairs will be paid for in thirds between MnDOT, Faribault County and the contractor on Highway 109 project.

This raised some questions with the board.

“We only have to pay a third which is better than paying in full, but who decides where we are getting the material from?” commissioner Tom Loveall asks.

McDonald informed the board that it was MnDOT that would be finding the material.

The commissioners, despite questioning the cost, were glad to see the road being taken care of before this winter.