Board OKs office lease for License Bureau

NEW ULM — Brown County Commissioners unanimously approved a two-year lease for space in the Brown County License Bureau building March 27.

Use of one room of office space one-half day per week by Lifework Planning Center enables more county clients to take advantage of services aimed at young mothers and fathers who need to get into the Brown County job market and find a job to support their families. Most of the clients are single parents.

The value of the space is $1,344 annually, which would be an in-kind contribution to the agency. The in-kind contribution benefits the county in far more ways than this amount contributed could ever be measured, according to Brown County Family Services Director Tom Henderson.

Commissioners also approved:

• The development of a 5-year capitol plan for rural transit throughout Minnesota done by a consultant hired by the State of Minnesota at no cost to the county. The plan to aid 30 rural Minnesota transit agencies would touch on many planning and funding needs.

Henderson recommended commissioners support the resolution and be fully engaged in the study process.

• A quote by Dahlen, Dwyer, Foyley & Tinker, Inc. for Preliminary Restricted Appraisal for pre Tax Court negotiations for valuation purposes. Properties are an 80,000 square foot light industrial building on a 3.12 acre site and a 21,600 square foot light industrial building on a 4.86 acre site. Both properties are owned by Beacon Promotions, 2121 Bridge St. S., New Ulm.

Appraisal fees are not to exceed $12,000 for the first parcel and $6,500 for the second. Additional litigation services will be billed at $300 an hour.

Brown County Assessor Anne Grunert said she hoped tax court could be avoided by coming to an agreement with parties before tax court files are made.

• An amendment of the $300,000 in AgBMP loan funds received for 2018. The Brown County Water Planning Office proposes to budget $189,450 for agricultural waste management, $106,713 for conservation tillage and $3,837 for other practices that don’t fit into AgBMP Loan Program criteria. Brown County Water Planner John Knisley said the funds could be used for waste handling, tillage equipment or well installation.

• Keeping the Lost Dog and Fox Hunters County Park gate open since no caretaker bids were received. Brown County Sheriff Rich Hoffmann said his staff will made additional monitoring visits.

• Renewing county day use park caretaker contracts with $200 pay hikes for David Helget at Treml Park and Gary Schenk at Mound Creek Park. Helget will receive $4,930 and Schenk $11,188 this year. The mileage rate is .545/mile. Caretakers supply their own equipment and fuel.

• Received an update from NUMAS Haus Coordinator Karla Diehn. The privately-funded home, sponsored by the New Ulm Ministerial Association provides shelter and support services to homeless women and children in the Brown County area.

Diehn said NUMAS recently served nine families. Six families successfully completed the program, two left due to rules infractions and one family left on their own. In addition, a woman whose car broke down was given rides to work by NUMAS volunteers so she could keep her job. Most NUMAS referrals come from Brown County Human Services.

“We have one opening now and have room for three families at a time,” Diehn said.

Created to prevent homelessness and help people find housing, NUMAS clients also receive emergency housing for up to 90 days, up to two years case management, counseling with licensed/certified behavioral health professionals, personal finance training and assistance toward credit restoration and comprehensive renter training.

Life skills training includes cooking, nutrition, health and safety, parenting skills, child wellness, conflict resolution and personal responsibility. After-school child care and enrichment activities are also offered.

“People have to be committed to change their lives,” Henderson said. He serves on the NUMAS board with five ministers and two lay people.

Volunteers are sought to provide evening and weekend shelter supervision, transport residents, provide child care, fund-raising and public relations, teach living skills, help with homework, clean and care for pets.

For more information, visit or call 507-359-2202.

Fritz Busch can be emailed at