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Board asked to suspend bus fares till July 1

NEW ULM — Brown County Commissioners will consider continuing Heartland Express fare suspension until July 1 on Tuesday, May 26.

Commissioners earlier agreed tu suspend fare from April 8 through June 1, making transportation available to all residents needing essential services access that have no other option.

Brown County staff recommends continuing fare suspension and re-visiting the request with commissioners at the end of June. The CARES Act passed by the federal government on March 27 provides funds to transit programs to prevent, prepare for and respond to COVID-19.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) will cover operating costs from March 1, 2020 through Feb. 28, 2021, so fare loss due to temporary suspension due to COVID will not be a county cost.

Commissioners will also consider:

• Adding Hoffmann Counseling (connected with Leo Hoffmann Center, St. Peter) to the mental health client assistant program. Hoffmann Counseling recently opened a New Ulm office and can assist low-income/uninsured clients with applying for financial assistance in obtaining mental health services.

• Approval to submit a $3,000 United Way of Brown County grant to fund the Universal Contact Home Visiting and Follow Along Programs.

• Receiving a COVID-19 update including public health planning and response activities. Spread prevention recommendations and community mitigation will be presented.

• Human Services reports and 2020-2021 school year contracts for the family facilitator program and the South Central Community-Based Initiative (SCCBI), Local Advisory Committee and Bridge on Center annual reports.

• The board meeting begins at 9 a.m., May 26 in the Law Enforcement Center training room until further notice. WebEx access is available by contacting Brown County administration at 507-233-6600.

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

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