County considers switching to paperless board meetings

NEW ULM – Implementing paperless board meetings would save Brown County about $400 a year in hard costs and labor spent to produce board meeting packets, according to a report by the County Information Technology (IT) Department.

Brown County IT Director Rich Meyer said he reviewed the board packet process with the Human Resources office. He totaled sheets of paper, labor, mailing, copier toner and maintenance costs and estimated per sheet costs at .029 cents.

Meyer said the $400 annual savings could be realized by saving paper, labor and mailing costs by posting board meeting information on the county website. He said the paperless project could be split into four phases.

Commissioners unanimously approved phase 1 of the project-posting the board agenda to the county website. Meyer said he planned to begin that process this week.

Phase 2 included outfitting the board room to accommodate an additional screen behind the board chair, a laptop to project the meeting data on the screen, at a cost of about $1,200.

Phase 3 includes installing electrical outlets and buying a laptop or smaller, portable iPad-type device for each commissioner, at a cost of about $8,550 the first year and $600 each successive year.

Commissioners unanimously approved:

Drainage ditch repairs, all by Heiderscheidt Digging, Sleepy Eye, $947.50 for a tile washout, CD13, Section 18, Home Township; $3,780 tile repair, CD55, Section 17, North Star Township; and $1,380 tile and side drain repair, JD35 R&B Section 3, North Star Township.

Drainage ditch repairs by Heiderscheidt Digging, $389.50 to complete CD1 repair, Section 19, Milford Township. Bill would be split 50-50 with Milford Township. A $181.26 bill from Schaefer Well Co. was sent back to Milford Township to pay.

A jail medical services contract and business associate agreement between Brown County and the Physicians Group, New Ulm to provide services including providing and reviewing medical standing orders for the jail nurse and provide an on-call physician for medical questions around the clock for $400 a month.

Receiving a $11,844 2014-2015 Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) enforcement grant to cover vehicle laws, rules and regulations, staff training and local youth training classes.

A $9,777.20 low quote from Puhlmann Lumber & Design to replace 20 windows on the north and west side of the Family Services area of the Community Services Building. Existing windows are drafty and poorly insulated. Project funds are in the 2013 Government Buildings budget.

(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at

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