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Nobles County adopts 2020 budget

The budget was set at $36,697,555, while the tax levy was set at $14,702,011. The total levy increase is 4.86%.

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WORTHINGTON — With offers of thanks to department heads and staff for their time and effort during the lengthy budget process, Nobles County commissioners on Tuesday adopted a 2020 budget of $36,697,555 and a tax levy of $14,702,011. The total levy increase is 4.86%.

In addition to adopting the budget, commissioners approved budgets for the departments of the county sheriff at $5,113,749, the county recorder at $341,642, the county attorney at $1,000,187 and the county auditor-treasurer at $991,365.

During its final meeting of the year, the board also authorized the temporary transfer of $36,000 from the county’s general fund to bring four ditch systems currently operating with a deficit into compliance. In January, the monies will be transferred back to the general fund.

The deficient ditch systems include County Ditch 2 and 5 and Judicial Ditch 10 and 24. JD 24 is located in portions of both Nobles and Jackson counties.

Amended ditch maintenance assessments for 2020 were also approved Tuesday.

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In other business, the board:

  • Approved on a 4-1 vote a new two-year feedlot program delegation agreement with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. Commissioner Justin Ahlers, who voted against the agreement, questioned the advantage of the county overseeing the program instead of the state. Nobles County Public Works Director Stephen Schnieder identified several advantages, including that the county can maintain local control, provide timely response to complaints and operate the program at a lower cost, thereby generating revenue from the state.

The agreement spells out the county’s responsibility to conduct compliance checks on feedlots. A minimum of 7% of the county’s feedlots must be checked each year.
In 2020, the county is slated to receive nearly $52,000 for operating the program, which covers about two-thirds of the overall costs. The remaining one-third is covered by the county and associated revenues, none of which come from property taxes.

  • Approved a contract renewal between the Nobles County Attorney’s office and Travis Smith and Kayla Johnson. The cost of the contract increased by $5,000 to $55,000 per year, and is done in exchange for Smith and Johnson providing prosecution services and appeals work for the county.

  • Approved a three-year snow removal contract with Adrian Plumbing & Electrical Inc. to do snow removal behind the Adrian Branch Library. The contract includes a $50 charge per event for snow removal this winter, and a $1.50 increase per event in each of the next two years.

  • Approved signing a joint powers agreement to become an “entrant member” with PrimeWest. This is being done to retain the relationship with PrimeWest, as the county still hopes to join the multi-county insurance program.

  • Approved a request from Wilmont to install no-parking signs 70 feet from the crosswalks at the intersection of Fourth Avenue (Nobles County 29) and Nobles County State Aid Highways 16 and 25. The change was requested to improve sight distances at the intersection.

  • Recognized Stephani Diekmann, fiscal supervisor in Nobles County Community Services, for 20 years of service to Nobles County; and Cher Easterday, custodian, on her retirement after 28 years of service.

  • Appointed Ahlers to the Des Moines River Watershed’s One Watershed, One Plan committee, with Commissioner Matt Widboom appointed alternate.

  • Approved amendments to the Missouri River Watershed Partnership Joint Powers Board.

Related Topics: GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
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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