County commissioners consider tax-safeguarding policy

NEW ULM – Brown County commissioners will consider a plan for safeguarding federal tax information policy and procedure at their meeting today.

A Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) bulletin in February called for an overhaul and many new county procedures regarding safekeeping of federal tax information, according to the Request for Board Action (RBA).

Brown County is now substantially in compliance and bringing the written policy required to complete for board approval, according to Brown County Family Services Office Support Supervisor Kristi Adams. There will be some building infrastructure changes that will go to the building committee in the coming months, to bring Family Services in 100 percent compliance.

Commissioners will also consider:

An Annual Chemical Dependency Treatment Fund and DAANES Chemical Dependency Treatment Report.

“The trend remains the same as in past years. Brown County treats people of younger ages that come to its attention,” the RBA stated. “We feel this is a good trend for the county population. It tends to indicate people are spending less of their lives dependent on alcohol and drugs. … It could be that people are becoming dependent earlier in their lives, but we tend to prefer the theory that they are getting treatment earlier. It is likely a combination of both.”

A request by Brown County Income Maintenance Supervisor Theresa Schroeder to buy six New Ulm Cemetery graves at $650 each, a $50 discount for each grave. Cremation is increasing in popularity, but traditional funerals requiring full grave sites are still taking place, according to the RBA.

So far in 2014, Brown County has spent $20,273 for county funerals. The budgeted amount is $26,500. The $3,900 cost for the new graves would be added to county funeral budget expenses.

Open ditch clean-outs of 40,160 feet of CD 60 west of Sleepy Eye, 3,145 feet of CD 5 southwest of Sleepy Eye and 5,295 feet of JD 30 R&B southwest of Sleepy Eye. Bids opened Aug. 20 were $70,014, Ed Rettman Excavation; $81,540 RAW Construction and $87,204 Rosburg Construction.

The County Highway Dept. recommends the low bid.

Simplex Grinnell’s $19,225 quote for replacement of the Law Enforcement Center’s outdated Simplex fire alarm main control panel with the county’s portion of the cost estimated at $14,651. The remaining 23.79 percent of the cost will be paid by the City of New Ulm.

Replacement parts are no longer available in the event of fire alarm main control panel failure. The jail fire alarm control panel will also be reviewed for updating if necessary.

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

(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at

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