Brown County Board to consider ditch hearing

NEW ULM – On Tuesday, Brown County commissioners will consider setting a time and date for a public hearing setting drainage ditch assessments/liens.

Assessments and liens range from $2,000 to $75,000 in county and judicial ditches, according to the Request for Board Action (RBA). If ditch assessments for one ditch system are under $1,000 per parcel, the amount is added to tax statements for that year.

For assessments from $1,001 to $2,999, letters are sent to owners giving them the option of a three-year ditch lien at a set rate of interest, plus a $46 filing fee, according to the RBA. For greater assessments, letters are sent to owners giving them the option of a five-year ditch lien at a set interest rate plus a $46 fee.

The suggested public hearing date is Tuesday, Nov. 5.

Commissioners will also consider:

Implementing paperless/electronic auditor/treasurer claims processing to replace the manual paper claim process as of Jan. 1, 2014, at little or no county cost.

Sending letters to Brown County residents about damage to roads by overweight trucks. Road building and maintenance costs have risen 200 to 300 percent over the past decade while funding went up only about 20 percent, according to the RBA.

If the County should offer a $4,500 single and $9,000 family high-deductible health insurance plan with HSA option. Other premium rates are a 2.5 percent decrease from HP 2500/5000 w/HSA base plan 2013 rates.

Discuss the formation of a county-wide wellness program. Health Partners representatives note that employers who have proactive efforts including wellness programs are given more favorable plan renewal consideration. In addition, County employees would benefit from a wellness program with greater health improvements and receive a positive impact on insurance rates, according to the RBA.

The board meeting starts at 9 a.m. Tuesday in the courthouse commissioners room.

(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at

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