Brown County ranks high in child support collections

NEW ULM – Brown County ranks among the top three counties in Minnesota for orders that establish child support collections on current measures and arrears collections, according to the annual Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) report.

The paternities measure results are unusual because many counties go over 100 percent because they are establishing paternities from years past. Brown County remains at 100 percent for that measure, which is has done for years, so it is not able to get into the top county ranking since it has no past paternities to establish, according to a Request for Board Action (RBA) at the Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014 board meeting.

Only Koochiching (98 percent) and Jackson County (96 percent) had a higher percentage orders established measures than Brown County’s 94 percent in fiscal year 2013. The state average was 86 percent, according to the report.

Only Kittson County (85 percent) had a higher collections percentage on current (2013) support, than Brown County’s 83 percent rate. Sibley County had a 79 percent collection percentage, McLeod County 78 percent and Watonwan County 77 percent, according to the report.

Commissioners will also consider:

A Family Group Decision-Making Contract with Brown County as the host county for a $54,271 grant between Greater Minnesota Family Services and Brown County Family Services covering Brown, Blue Earth, Nicollet, Sibley and Watonwan Counties.

The Family Group Decision Making service has been available in Brown County as host county and the counties of Sibley and Watonwan for many years, according to the RBA. Nicollet County was in the grant and left for the past two years due to the recession, but wishes to return now and Blue Earth County entered a few years ago, according to the RBA.

The service provides an intensive family group process which helps extended and immediately family deal with neglect abuse of one of their family units. It works very well and tends to reduce out-of-home costs, according to the RBA.

Brown County’s January 2013 MNSure enrollment was 241, 153 for Medical Assistance and 88 for MinnesotaCare, according to the Family Services Consent Agenda report.

Watonwan County’s request of Family Services/Public Health Administrative Services Assistance. Family Services Director Tom Henderson and Public Health Director Karen Moritz reviewed the request and agreed to provide assistance within the agreement limits, according to the RBA.

Revising the HSA (Health Services Account) contribution from $1,100 annually to $1,250 for non-union employees effective Jan. 1, 2014.

Approving a market adjustment of $2,500 (plus general increase) to Brown County Assessor Rita Treml effective Jan. 28, 2014. The adjustment came after results of a 15-county salary survey were reviewed. Treml’s base salary is currently Grade XVIII Step 9 and she will continue annual step movement according to policy.

The meeting starts at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 28 in the courthouse commissioner’s room.

Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at

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