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County approves 2018 budget, levy

WORTHINGTON -- In the final board meeting of the year, Nobles County commissioners on Tuesday approved a 3.2 percent levy increase -- for a total levy of $13,611,729 -- and a 2018 budget of $39,574,397.

WORTHINGTON - In the final board meeting of the year, Nobles County commissioners on Tuesday approved a 3.2 percent levy increase - for a total levy of $13,611,729 - and a 2018 budget of $39,574,397.

After much discussion in recent months about the budget and levy, little was left to say by commissioners, except to thank those who served on the county budget committee.

In addition to setting the budget and levy, the last meeting of December also included setting the annual salary and budget for elected officials in the county. Those salaries and budgets follow:

County Attorney: $117,425 salary; $910,301 budget.

Auditor-Treasurer: $83,000 salary; $789,084 budget.

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Recorder: $78,043 salary; $299,912 budget.

Sheriff: $110,920 salary; $4,547,536 budget.

Commissioners: $19,236 salary, plus a $150 maximum per diem per day for meetings attended.

Commissioner Justin Ahlers said he wanted to go on record as supporting a 2.25 percent cost of living adjustment (COLA) for all elected officials for 2018. All of the elected officials, with the exception of the commissioners, will receive higher COLAs.

Each of the salaries and budgets was approved with unanimous vote.

In other action, the board:

  • Approved a three-year contract with the AFSCME Highway Labor group, which includes a 2.25 percent cost of living adjustment (COLA) in 2018, 2.5 percent in 2019 and 2.75 percent in 2020.
  • Approved the 2018 non-union compensation plan, which includes a 2.25 percent cost of living adjustment (COLA) in 2018, 2.5 percent in 2019 and 2.75 percent in 2020.
  • Approved new hourly rates for temporary/seasonal workers. The new rate is $12 per hour for first-year temp workers, with a 50-cent-per-hour pay increase for each summer thereafter if the worker returns.
  • Approved a new lease agreement with Meridian Behavioral Health LLC for space in the former KidsPeace area of the PJC. The agreement runs from Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2018.
  • Approved the following citizen appointments: Pam Deuel, at-large member to the community services advisory committee; Dolores Ella, James Elsing and Amy Woitalewicz to the Developmental Achievement Center; Rick von Holdt, David McNab and Tom Johnson to the emergency management planning advisory committee; Megan Prins and Kile Behrends to the Extension committee; Katie Meyer to the personnel board of appeals; David Thier, Richard Schlichte and Mike Harmon to the planning advisory commission; and Brent Feikema and John Penning to the zoning board of appeals.
  • Presented the November Excellence in Performance award to Community Services Director Stacie Golombiecki.
  • Recognized Valerie Ruesch, county assessor, for 30 years of service in the assessor’s department.
Julie Buntjer became editor of The Globe in July 2021, after working as a beat reporter at the Worthington newspaper since December 2003. She has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism from South Dakota State University.
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