County considers behavioral consulting rates

NEW ULM – Brown County Board will consider approval of a behavioral consulting services contract through Dec. 31, 2015 at its meeting today.

Rates, now at $75 an hour, would increase to $82 from March 1 to Dec. 31, 2013; $85 from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2014 and $89 from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2015. There has not been a rate increase for seven years, according to the Request for Board Action (RBA).

The State of Minnesota will take over waiver rate setting on Jan. 1, 2014. About 95 percent of services now are waiver paid. These rates would remain in effect under the contract for county pay indefinitely, or until the contract is ended by either party, according to the RBA.

A few years ago, Brown County Family Services began using Independent Behavioral Consultant Paul J. Dietzman of Trimont for the most challenging children and young adult mental health cases when Region 9 (with state funding) formed a children’s mental health multi-county consortium, according to the RBA.

When that program was discontinued, Family Services began using waiver funding when available to continue the same type of in-home placements.

Dietzman is no longer under Brown County Family Services usual waiver contract because the state doesn’t currently recognize his particular profession to be contracted within the same fashion as others. The State is supposed to take over all this contracting by Jan. 1, 2014, with waiver providers under a federal mandate. This change will make a contract obtainable for behavioral health consultants.

Commissioners will also consider:

Reviewing the Family Facilitator Program for policy and statistics. The Brown County program is very stable with the same staff for several years. The most significant program change has been a shift from child welfare emphasis to children’s mental health emphasis, according to the RBA.

The change improved the program funding base but takes away from some of the original preventative approach for young children that the program was meant to serve.

Authorizing the Auditor-Treasurer’s office to close the Tax-Forfeited Land Sale for all parcels except parcels in Blocks 2 and 3, Dakota West Addition and parcels in the Minnesota River Valley Subdivision. The original Tax-Forfeited Sale in February focused on potential developers buying lots and building “spec” homes, which was considered “too risky” for developers, due to the amount of initial lot investment, according to the RBA.

A resolution grouping Dakota West Addition parcels to enhance the sale. Lot groupings designed for individuals interested in building homes, were reviewed with the New Ulm City Manager and City Planner.

A resolution with minimum sale price and sale terms for Dakota West Subdivision lots. Parcel sizes range from .27 to 1.74 acres. Minimum prices range from $7,500 to $25,000. Assessments to be amortized upon construction range from $25,922 for most lots, to $51,844 for lots more than 1 acre.

An informational tax update including estimated residential tax calculator, how to calculate a property tax, link to class rates, 2013 tax rates, tax rate comparisons, top taxpayers and 2013 Tax-Forfeited information.

The county board meeting will be reconvened at 2 p.m. Tuesday for a Re-determination of Benefits Hearing for County Ditches (CD) 23 and 52; and CD 28 at 3 p.m.

The main meeting starts at 9 a.m. today in the courthouse commissioners room.

(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at

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