New Ulm MRCI Thrift Store profits up

NEW ULM – Mankato Rehabilitation Center Inc. (MRCI) experienced another profitable year at its MRCI Bargains of New Ulm store last year, Brown County Liaison Charles Guggisberg told Brown County commissioners on Tuesday.

The New Ulm store had $114,531 in 2012 sales, which exceeded 2011 sales by $11,226. The store recently made a $50,000 donation to MRCI’s New Ulm work site. The money will be used to build a covered entryway and an internal wall for more controlled work area heating and cooling, Guggisberg said.

Funds will also be used to buy an electric forklift and for site remodeling for the new Ease Program. Ease will open next month for elderly MRCI clients in the former New Ulm detox office space.

“Our numbers continue to grow as we serve the needs of the disabled and disadvantaged, and make more people aware of our purpose and goals,” Guggisberg said.

The New Ulm work site has 18 workshop employees, 17 who work in only at community sites, 74 who work in combined jobs, 37 DTH (Day Training Habilitation) workers and two to four transition program clients. An estimated 18 people will work in the Ease Program.

Guggisberg said the MRCI candy packaging business continues to grow and provide client work. Candy sales are offered locally at the MRCI Bargains store and Menards.

MRCI was recently contacted by Sibley County officials about the prospect of adding clients to MRCI programs.

In other action, commissioners approved:

Submital of local, state and federal permit applications for water/wetlands projects including four Cottonwood River stream barbs just upstream of the Stark Township Bridge, near Iberia, to aid in slowing water before the bend, directing water to the channel center and enhancing a proposed Stark Township erosion control project.

Six Planning Commission recommendations from that board’s May 14, 2013 meeting.

The proposed barbs would aid in slowing down water from the bend, direct water towards the center of the channel and help enhance a proposed erosion control project by Stark Township.

A Public Health Update that included the Radon Awareness Act. As of Jan. 1, 2014, all Minnesota residential home sales (including existing homes, new construction and high rises will be required to disclose in writing to the buyer any knowledge the seller has of dwelling radar concentration.

The disclosure shall include whether radon tests have occurred on the real property, radon concentration, mitigation, or re-mediation and a radon warning statement.

Radon is the leading lung cancer cause among non-smokers, the second-leading cause in smokers and is at high concentration in southern Minnesota soil, according to the update.

The Brown County Assessor’s second quarter report that included 2013 tax court filings by K-Mart Corp., Hallberg, Inc. (Palm Beach Marinecraft), Frandsen Bank & Trust, and Target Corp. All firms but Target Corp. filed in 2012 tax court.

The local board of review will include a property adjustment for the Thomas Anderson property in Burnstown Township and list of any other adjustments made at a future county board meeting.

(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at

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