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Commissioners up drainage policy limit

November 7, 2012
The Journal

NEW ULM - Brown County commissioners approved raising the limit for the County Ditch Inspector to proceed with routine tile intake and washout repairs as needed from $5,000 to $10,000 Tuesday.

According to the Request for Board Action, Brown County's drainage systems have experienced many repair requests in the last two years. Weather effects on the aging drainage system have created the need for more and larger repairs. In addition, repair costs have increased significantly.

Many times, the scope of the repair is not known until the site is dug open to see what went wrong. After the repair has been made, it may take up to 200 feet to find a tile that is in good enough condition to hook up to.

Commissioners approved:

Learning that the Brown County Auditor-Treasurer's Office has worked with the Planning & Zoning Office to clear up septic loans that were never satisfied. Letters were sent to 140 taxpayers that had paid off septic projects but did not have the satisfaction filed with the County Recorder.

Most notified taxpayers paid the fee and the satisfactions have been filed. Taxpayers who have not responded will be assessed a $46 fee on their 2013 tax statements to cover the filing fee. All future septic loans will have this fee included in upfront costs to avoid the issue at the time of sale.

Purchasing a tack oil kettle for the county highway department from the low bid of $18,050 plus $1,240.94 sales tax from Ruffridge-Johnson Equipment. The old tack kettle is a 1988 model built by the highway department by combining two older units, according to the RBA.

Commissioner Scott Windschitl's report on the current breakdown of Minnesota Legacy tax funds that earmarks 45 percent to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), 40 percent to the Twin Cities metro area and 15 percent to rural Minnesota.

"This (funding breakdown) should be changed," Windschitl said.

Commissioner Andy Lochner said laws should be changed allowing the DNR to use Legacy money for PILT (Payments In Lieu of Taxes).

(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at



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