Commissioners hold ditch assessment hearing

NEW ULM – Brown County commissioners will take testimony and approve ditch assessment amounts for taxes payable in 2014 without interest, at 9 a.m. today.

Recommended assessments/liens range from $2,000 to $75,000. If a ditch assessment for one ditch system is under $1,000 per parcel, the amount goes onto the annual tax statement. Interest rates will be set for any liens that may be filed, according to the Request for Board Action (RBA).

For ditch assessments of $1,001 through $2,999, letters will be sent to owners giving them the option of a three-year ditch lien with interest plus a $46 filing fee. For assessments $3,000 and up, letters will be sent to owners giving them the option of a five-year ditch lien with interest and a $46 filing fee. The recommendations are subject to change by commissioners at the meeting.

Other agenda items include:

Reviewing New Ulm Soldiers Rest Columbaria preliminary designs and approving the County Veterans Service Officer to seek bids from three Brown County monument companies. Two firms returned designs to review.

Currently 248 veterans or spouses have requested burial in the New Ulm Soldiers Rest, while 79 have indicated plans for cremation.

Appointing Justin Kitzberger as a full-time deputy sheriff at $44,135 (Grade XV, entry), contingent on pre-employment evaluations and physical. He was one of seven candidates interviewed. The position had an entry to mid-range annual salary of $44,135 to $51,909.

Authorizing purchase of a highway department pickup at $31,702.33 state bid price, including sales tax and trade in of a 2005 Ford F250 with more than 200,000 miles. The budget allows $29,500 for the purchase. State bids for GM and Dodge are currently not available, according to the RBA.

Authorizing purchase of a router to replace a 2005 Marathon pavement cutter that is showing wear, according to the RBA. State bids including sales tax and trade-in are $7,028.37 from Marathon and $8,241.13 from Cimline.

Reviewing and approving a five-year road and bridge construction program. Changes have been made based on current construction costs and available funding. State Aid funding has remained somewhat flat, even with the new transportation funding bill. Construction costs continue to rise significantly, according to the RBA.

The focus of the five-year plan continues to be maintaining highway surfaces, which usually means overlaying within 20 years of a road’s last surfacing.

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

(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at

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