Commissioners to discuss issues with Dahms, Torkelson

Will hold 2020 proposed budget, levy meeting at 6 p.m.

NEW ULM — Brown County commissioners will discuss legislative issues with State Senator Gary Dahms and State Representative Paul Torkelson at 4:45 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 3.

The legislators have been asked to share their perspectives on the coming legislative session that begins Feb. 11, 2020.

After up to an hour of discussion, commissioners will convene the Truth-In-Taxation public meeting at 6 p.m. in the courthouse 3rd floor district courtroom for the proposed 2020 County Budget and Levy. Public feedback on the proposed county budget will be heard.

Market values shown on Truth-In-Taxation notices are final and are not a hearing subject. Values for the 2019 assessment (taxes payable 2020) were discussed and established at the local boards of review and county board of equalization held earlier this year.

In September, commissioners set the 2020 preliminary tax levy at $13,873,499, a 4.63% hike from the 2019 certified levy, based on a draft 2020 county budget of $39,151,145.

The average levy increase over the past five years is 3.25% annually, based on final levy increases.

For the current draft county budget, $225,000 is the contingency line item, subject to final certification by the county board set to be adopted at the Dec. 17 board meeting. That amount may be equal to or lower but not higher than the proposed preliminary levy.

Proposed property tax statements include taxable market value for taxes payable in 2019 and an estimate of taxes payable in 2020.

Brown County’s 2020 preliminary tax levy was set at a 4.63% increase over 2019.

Brown County’s 2019 per capita levy rates are among the lowest in Minnesota, ranking 73rd out of 87 counties.

A significant portion of the County budget is used for programs and services mandated by state or federal government.

In a meeting beginning at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, commissioners will consider:

• Approving final acceptance of the CSAH 29 highway project from CSAH 12 to TH 4. The road was rehabilitated with a concrete overlay with Local Option Sales Tax transportation funds.

The water/cement ratio below a set number resulted in an $81,752.50 incentive. A measured smoothness below a set number measured by an Inertial Profiler resulted in a $127,544.24 incentive.

Disincentives were also calculated for results above the set numbers to a point where the road was not acceptable and corrective action was taken. Studies show that a lower water/cement ratio results in stronger, more durable concrete pavement. Other studies show a smoother ride yields a longer lasting pavement.

• A Wellner Hagemann Dam Inspection Report done by Area II engineering staff. Items to be completed include painting the gate on the outlet structure and spraying leafy spurge in 2020.



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