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Horsager, Hofer pave way for 2018 county budget

Commissioners Chuck Horsager and Jim Hofer paved the way last Tuesday for Wadena County's preliminary revenue budget for 2018.

"This was an assignment, I've never had one quite like this, it's a huge budget, a lot of moving parts and pieces," Horsager said.

Horsager, who joined the board Jan. 3, talked about a joint goal of having a budget the committee "thought it could live with."

Hofer presented details of the budget pointing out no staff increases for any department were being contemplated.

"Should there be any during the budget year it must be recommended by the personnel committee," Hofer told the board.

Hofer also pointed out the budget committee will be an ongoing one that will discuss what is going on with the budget throughout the year.

The board is presently working with a budget of approximately $21 million. Of that amount, approximately $9 million is raised from local taxes with the rest coming from state and federal sources.

Horsager expects the board to certify the preliminary budget at their Sept. 26 meeting.

The council approved the following measures:

• A conditional use permit for a 19-unit expansion to a 50-unit RV site in Section 1 of Blueberry Township by Ed and Lisa Moren over the written objections of a neighbor, James Hamm.

• A design for Phase 2 remodeling work by Vercon at the Wadena County Public Health offices at an estimated cost of $96,900.

• Updating a Personnel Policy Meal Reimbursement Schedule which was put last changed in 2006. The formal recommendation is for meal reimbursement amounts of $9 (breakfast), $11 (lunch) and $18 (evening meal) with the requirement of a dated receipt and no gratuity reimbursement.

• Asbestos abatement and plumbing work on a tax-forfeited home in Sebeka.

• Transfer of $100,000 for a railroad spur in Wadena from restricted to unrestricted funds.

• A more formal cell phone policy for county employees to be delegated by department heads.

• Disposal of county material and equipment, including 12 fluorescent light fixtures, on MinnBid.

• Authorizing and funding an outside investigation, to be directed by the Labor Attorney, into a list of six motions regarding the acknowledgment of a complaint and related grievance from Teamsters Local 320 alleging a hostile work environment.

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