Board approves ditch repairs, OKs ’15 budget guidelines

NEW ULM-Brown County commissioners unanimously approved 10 normal maintenance drainage ditch repair requests totaling $8,371 Tuesday.

Requests ranged from a $2,228 side drain repair and 84 feet of tile replacement in County Ditch (CD) 12, Section 26, Eden Township to a $218 tile washout in CD 33, Section 24, Mulligan Township. Other repairs were approved in CD 72, 10 and 17, Home Township; CD 68, Lake Hanska Township; CD 2, 33, Albin Township; CD 28-1 and 33, Mulligan Township.

Commissioners unanimously approved:

2015 budget guidelines including a 2 percent general (salary) increase plus steps for non-union employees. Deputies, correctional officers, dispatchers, and AFSCME courthouse and highway unions settled for 2015 with 2 percent general increases. The 2014 Legislature increased PERA (retirement) from 7.25 to 7.5 percent.

The health insurance formula in the personnel policy and all labor contracts provides for equal sharing of any premium increase between the employer and employee. A 15 percent estimated premium increase is included in budget calculations. The 2015 premium renewal has been requested and will be incorporated into the draft budget.

Brown County Public Health Director Karen Moritz attending the Pro Walk, Pro Bike, Pro Place Conference, Sept. 8-11, 2014 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, through the Heart of New Ulm (HONU) Project, which will pay for all travel, meal and lodging costs.

Brown County will be responsible for employee salaries for working days to travel to, attend and return from the conference.

The conference was founded on the belief that greater access to walking and bicycling will create healthier individuals, cohesive neighborhoods and vibrant communities, according to the RBA. The conference is expected to draw 1,000 city planners, transportation engineers, public health advocates, elected officials, community leaders and professional walking and bicycling advocates.

Appointing John Miller as full-time deputy sheriff, contingent on passing pre-employment evaluations and physical at $51,358 (Grade XV, Step 4 due to experience).

(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at

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