County Board approves Watonwan contract

NEW ULM – Brown County commissioners unanimously approved a contract with Watonwan County to purchase Chemical Dependency Rule 25 Assessment Supervision Services on Tuesday.

Beginning last April, Watonwan County asked Brown County if it could provide supervision for its chemical dependency counselor for a few months. Brown County has a certified, licensed alcohol and drug counselor (LADC) while Watonwan County did not and needed one.

After a few months of using the service, it is needed for a longer time. Brown County needed a written agreement to continue the service.

The Social Service Expenditure and Grant Reconciliation (SEAGR) rate is established by the state department for each county, It includes salary, fringe benefits and overhead costs. The amount changes quarterly. Brown County rates vary from $60 to $80 an hour.

The Watonwan County Attorney needs to re-approve the Brown County assistant attorney’s changes as of July 16. It is similar to a recent Sibley County contract with Brown County.

In other action, commissioners approved:

2015 health insurance renewal reflecting about a 4 percent increase of Health Partners HP/2600/5200 w/ Health Savings Account base plan, with payment of county/employee share according to personnel policy and union contracts. Health Partners notified the insurance committee that the $2,500 HSA must change to $2,600 due to 2015 IRS rules change.

Authorizing the county administrator to attend the AGRIP (Association of Governmental Risk Pools) Governance and Leadership Conference, Oct. 5-8, 2014 in Savannah, Ga. Registration, lodging and travel expenses will be paid by MCIT (Minnesota Counties Intergovernmental Trust).

The MCIT Executive Director suggested that the county administrator, as an MCIT board member, consider attending the training session to further MCIT goals and work.

Commissioner Scott Windschitl informed the board that Brown County Economic Development Authority (EDA) recently approved a $50,000 loan application for a project should create five new jobs. The EDA still has $13,000 to $14,000 in available loan funds and all loans are current.

(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at

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