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Commissioners OK election support position

NEW ULM — Brown County commissioners unanimously approved authorization of a temporary election support position in the Auditor-Treasurer’s Office for the presidential nomination primary (PNP) Tuesday.

Action came on a motion by commissioner Scott Windschitl, seconded by commissioner Dean Simonsen.

Counties will be reimbursed for all PNP expenses in June 2020 after submission to the Minnesota Secretary of State Office.

“The end of the year and early part of next year are extremely busy in the A-T office,” Brown County Auditor-Treasurer Jean Prochniak wrote in her board request.

“We are closing our financials for 2019, preparing for the new audit firm, delinquent notices/publications and the calculation of 2020 taxes and tax statement mailing,” Prochniak said. “With that in mind, we opted to request this temporary hire to assist with material preparation, answering PNP phone inquires, testing equipment, election judge training and absentee voting.”

Commissioners also unanimously approved:

• Authorization to order a $244,488.86 tandem cab and chassis and order snowplow equipment from Harrison Trucks, motion by commissioner Simonsen, seconded by commissioner Tony Berg.

The Brown County Highway Department recommends Harrison Trucks for the Western Star cab, chassis and Towmaster equipment. Harrison Trucks bid was $73.14 less than Boyer Trucks bid.

• Purchase of an Information Technology Dept. laptop computer, motion by commissioner Jeff Veerkamp, seconded by commissioner Simonsen. The laptop would be used for technical use to take advantage of new Windows operating systems and have a reliable system to connect remotely on snow days and on call times.

The IT Dept. has been using older laptops from other departments for various software and remove access needs. The State of Minnesota bid quote is $1,679.70. The IT Dept. has an $8,000 budget surplus, which would be used to buy the laptop.

• Declaring a list of IT Dept. equipment as excess and sell it on the State of Minnesota website Minnbid.org, for auctions, motion by commissioner Simonsen, seconded by commissioner Berg.

Brown County IT Director Rich Meyer said the old computer hard drives have been removed but the computers still have memory capacity. Meyer said the department will save on labor and keep items out of the landfill by auctioning off equipment.

• Remodeling the IT Training Room by building a wall enclosing the room and allowing a pathway to the director’s office, for privacy and sound proofing and for another office area behind the wall. The total cost is $5,788; $3,767 for construction materials and $2,021 for furniture.

Action came on a motion by commissioner Windschitl, seconded by commissioner Berg. Windschitl asked for a second materials quote. Meyer said he will ask for one and compare it before ordering materials. He said another quote was sought earlier but no response was received.

• Placing 2019 Landfill Trust Fund interest into the landfill operating fund, motion by commissioner Berg, seconded by commissioner Simonsen. The Landfill Trust Fund is a reserve to pay for closure and post-closure costs. It is fully funded at this point with a $2,947.844.16 balance.

Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@nujournal.com.

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