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County Board hikes levy up by 3.9 percent

By Staff | Dec 24, 2017

The commissioners of Faribault County approved the 2018 property tax levy at their last board meeting. The levy was set at $10,976,575. This figure represents a $420,404 increase, or 3.9 percent, over last year’s levy.

In September, the County Board set the preliminary levy at a 4.75 increase of $11,057,627. According to county accountant Darren Esser, a budget increase of $360,000 in the health and human services department represents 75 percent of the levy increase.

Overall, Esser expressed satisfaction with the state of the county budget heading into the new year.

“I feel good at 3.9 percent,” Esser said. “The cuts we made weren’t terribly controversial.”

Other items from the meeting included:

The board approved the transfer of Cassie Lewis to the auditor’s office.

In a 3-2 vote, the board passed a motion for a two percent salary increase for the commissioners, as well as a daily per diem of $80. The 2018 raise is consistent with other non-union staff employees. Commissioners Tom Warmka and Greg Young opposed the motion.

A gambling application between Bogey Bar in Elmore Township and the Fairmont Youth Hockey Association was authorized by the board. The youth hockey club can now sponsor pull tabs at the bar.

A motion was passed for the county to enter into an agreement with MnDOT to accept federal funds for future construction projects. According to public works director Mark Daly, the contract is similar to previous agreements between the county and MnDOT.

The board passed a motion to authorize up to $110,000 for expenditures on the county’s security and camera project contract with VTI and ISG. A total amount of $44,167 has already been counted towards project expenditures.

Also during the meeting, the board approved two petitions for repair, one for County Ditch 31, and one for County Ditch 92.