Board to act on 2014 levy

NEW ULM – Brown County commissioners are scheduled to adopt the $30,776,799 budget for 2014 and $11,747,300 levy on Tuesday.

The proposed levy is 3.19 percent above the 2013 certified levy. It must be certified to the Brown County Auditor/Treasurer by Dec. 30, 2013. It is the maximum allowable levy authorized by the Minnesota Department of Revenue earlier this fall.

The Board may reduce the levy by corresponding reductions in expense line items and/or applying reserves to buy-down the levy increase. There are now $1,554,040 of reserves used as revenue in the draft 2014 county budget, mostly in Highway Fund 10. The proposed budget includes $277,441 in contingency line items, the primary expense variable at this time, according to the Request for Board Action (RBA).

If the proposed levy is reduced by more than $277,441, contingency items would be revised to zero and any additional amount would increase the amount of reserves needed to be budgeted.

In other action, commissioners will consider:

Purchasing a $51,568 CIS Mobile Communications System (MCS) and Mobile E-Citation (MEC) for the sheriff’s department. The system would allow deputies to access the same information from their squads as from the office. There is also capability of other county law enforcement agencies purchasing and adding the same MCS to their squads.

The $24,860 MEC would allow deputies to auto fill/download directly to CIS modules and the Court Administrator’s Office. The sheriff’s office would like the buy the items after Jan. 1, 2014 to take advantage of a new state law making counties sales tax exempt.

Purchasing a $8,890 GeoLynx Mobile v8 for the sheriff’s department after Jan. 1, 2014, replacing an existing GPS mapping system and allowing dispatch and deputies to see where other squads are. Dispatch would be able to feed call for service addresses, and the GeoLynx Mobile v8 would give the best route to the call.

Allowing about 10,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil from a downtown Mankato project to be accepted at the Brown County Landfill. The landfill has accepted Brown County waste except household Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) from Nicollet County residents who live near New Ulm.

The soil has been tested and results reviewed by Landfill Consultant Chad Donnelly of AECOM Inc. He suggests requiring the firm assisting in the soil removal (Braun Intertec of Mankato), to do additional testing for metals, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) every 2,500 cubic yards and testing it to verify the soil is safe to be placed in the landfill.

Landfill Annual Report Assistance from AECOM as needed to develop the 2013 Brown County Sanitary Landfill Annual Report and continued general support as required by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), and sign $11,000 quote. The firm will prepare surface and ground water monitoring data, financial assurance documents, additional PFC monitoring and compilation plus gas emissions and leachate reporting.

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

(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at

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