NEW ULM - Brown County commissioners unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday establishing their 2014 salaries at $22,236, which was 2 percent higher than their 2013 salaries of $21,800.
The resolution maintained $1,000 additional annual pay for the board chairman and kept daily per diem at $60. A 15-county comparison of 2013 county commissioner salaries showed a mean salary of $22,642 and mean per diem of $66, according to the Request for Board Action (RBA).
Commissioners approved other salary increases:
By a 3-1 vote, with Commissioner Scott Windschitl dissenting, a 3.7 percent 2014 salary hike to $89,200 for Brown County Sheriff Rich Hoffmann. He received $86,000 in 2013. An ad hoc salary committee recommendation of a 5.8 percent raise to $91,000 did not get a motion. "We're slowly catching up," Commissioner Jim Berg said. Commissioner Dennis Potter did not attend the meeting.
A 2 percent 2014 salary hike to $82,827 for Brown County Auditor/Treasurer Marlin Helget. He received $81,203 in 2013.
A 2 percent 2014 salary hike to $66,127 for Brown County Recorder Betti Kamolz. She received $64,831 in 2013.
By a 3-1 vote, with Windschitl dissenting, a 2.6 percent 2014 salary hike to $98,877 for Brown County Family Services Director Tom Henderson. He received $96,377 in 2013.
By a 3-1 vote, with Windschitl dissenting, a 2.7 percent 2014 salary hike to $102,600 for Brown County Highway Engineer Wayne Stephens. He received $100,052 in 2013. A recommended 3 percent raise to $103,000 died for lack of a motion.
By a 3-1 vote, with Windschitl dissenting, a 3.2 percent 2014 salary hike to $105,000 for Brown County Administrator Chuck Enter. He received $101,706 in 2013. A recommended 4.2 percent raise to $106,000 died for lack of a motion.
Soil accepted at landfill
By a 3-1 vote, with Windschitl dissenting, about 5,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil from the Mankato City Center Project will be accepted at the Brown County Landfill. Contaminants that tested during the reporting limit were arsenic, lead, barium, chromium, mercury and some hydrocarbons from petroleum.
The soil, which came from a closed car dealership parking lot and foundry near downtown Mankato, would be used for landfill daily cover.
"There is an elevated risk for accepting the soil, but it is definitely a manageable risk," said county landfill consultant Chad Donnelly of AECOM.
Laine Sletta of the Brown County Planning and Zoning office said he didn't think the soil was a concern for landfill employees. Desiree Hohenstein of county planning and zoning said she talked to officials in other counties who said they had no concerns with the soil contaminant levels because they were consistent with traditionally collected garbage.
Commissioner Andy Lochner said a signed agreement should be obtained from the firm helping remove the soil (Braun Intertec of Mankato) to pay for any soil testing needed.
"I have chemical concerns. I don't think we should accept it," Windschitl said.
A MNsure update from New Ulm Medical Center (NUMC) Chief Operating Officer Steve Schneider and Income Maintenance Supervisor Theresa Schroeder was presented to the board.
"The MNsure system been a source of frustration and confusion, but as a provider, we think it's good for people to have insurance coverage and help prevent family financial devastation," Schneider said.
Schroeder said paper MNsure applications are available but she encouraged people to apply online for faster service. "The online system (www.mnsure.org) seems to be getting a little faster every day," Schroeder said. "We have a lobby computer for people to use."
Applicants can enroll in Medical Assistance (MA) through MNsure for individual income up to $15,282 and $31,322 for families of four; enroll in MNCare with individual income up to $22,980 and $47,100 for families of four; or qualify for tax credits to lower monthly insurance premiums for incomes up to $45,960 for individuals and $92,200 for families of four.
Individual and family plans are available on MNsure that allow you to see an in-network provider at NUMC including Preferred One and Blue Cross/Blue Shield. Individual and family plans available for purchase on MNsure with out-of-network coverage for NUMC services via Health Partners and Medica.
Certified application counselors are available at NUMC. Call 1-800-795-1211, ext. 75756 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday to set an appointment.
To explore MNsure insurance options independently, visit www.mnsure.org, choose "individuals or families," review plan options, create an account and apply for coverage. A list of insurance brokers can be found on the website by selecting "get help," "find an assister," and "assister directory" for a listing according to zip code.
In other action, commissioners approved Conditional Use Permit (CUP) applications for:
Terry and Gail Frauendorfer, Section 12, Leavenworth Township, for a 12x14-foot, pre-fabricated agricultural construction business office building to be located at the current building site in the A-1 Agricultural Protection Zone. The firm installs equipment in hog/turkey barns and remodels barns.
Dave and Mary Jo Hoffmann, Section 20, Home Township, allowing continued use of a welding shop as a home occupation in the A-1/Shoreland Protection Zoning District.
Larry Kramer, Section 34, Albin Township, allowing continued use of an existing dog kennel for up to 20 dogs in the A-1 Zone.
MR Paving, Jeff Carlson, representing owner Charles Schewe, Section 9, Stark Township, reflecting new ownership and continued use of a gravel mining/extraction, hot-mix and crushing equipment in the A-1 Zone.
Mathiowetz Construction, Section 17, Home Township, reflecting new ownership and continued use of property for mining, stockpiling and sale of pit-run of cretaceous shale and kaolin clay in the A-1 Zone.
Brian and Teresa Aschenbrenner, Section 32, Stark Township, to continue gravel mining and processing including pit run, screening and crushing in the A-1 Zone.
Terry and Michelle Heiderscheidt and Todd and Maureen Heiderscheidt, Section 20, Stark Township, to continue gravel mining and extraction in the A-1 Zone.
Leon and Renee Kral, Section 17, Stark Township, allowing gravel mining/extraction, crushing and hot mix plant in the A-1 Zone.
(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at email@example.com).