County sets preliminary tax levy, approves auction of tax forfeited land

Deb Moldaschel
Redwood Falls Gazette

At the Sept. 21 meeting of the Redwood County Board of Commissioners, new Assessor Joel Mertens was introduced to the Board members.

Engineer Anthony Sellner presented Road and Bridge agenda items for Board consideration. The Board took the following actions:

•Adopted a resolution authorizing an agreement for State Transportation Fund Local Bridge Replacement Program Grant for the CSAH 7 bridge over J.D. #36, to be reconstructed in May 2022. 

•Awarded the CSAH 7 Bridge (over J.D. #36, 3.5 miles south of Highway 68) and Johnsonville Township 210th St. Bridge (3/4 mile west of CSAH 7) to Midwest Contracting in the amount of $492,362. The CSAH 7 project is $231,264.50 with the grant for $82,906 and the remaining $148,358.50 coming from the county's State Aid Construction account. The Johnsonville project is $261,101.50 funded through the town bridge program and $20,000 from Johnsonville Township.

•Approved purchase of a Motor grader from Ziegler in the amount of $381,762 (state contract price) with trade-in of the 2002 Caterpillar Motor grader, valued at $75,830, for a total purchase price of $305,932. Approved purchase of a skid loader from Ziegler Inc. in the amount of $62,245 (state contract price). Approved purchase of a Walk-n-Roll from Ziegler Inc. in the amount of $37,160 (state contract price). Approved the transfer of $341,000 to the Road and Bridge Fund from the Veteran Cemetery Reserve Fund to fund the purchase of the Motor Grader and Walk-n-Roll.

•Approved to contract up to 90 annual bridge safety inspections with Bolton and Menk for up to $34,108.

Tiffany Barnard, Philanthropy Manager of the Southwest Initiative Foundation, presented the Board with an overview of the programs and grants awarded through SWIF and requested consideration that $5,302 be included in the county's 2022 budget in support of SWIF's economic development work.

The Board approved the order for the sale of 13 parcels of non-conservation lands forfeited to the State for taxes; and adopted the resolution authorizing and fixing terms and conditions of the sale of the tax forfeited land at public auction to be held Tuesday, Oct. 26 at 9 a.m. in the Government Center Board Room. (All information available on the Redwood County website, Auditor/Treasurer page.)

Denise Kerkhoff, Crime Victim Services Coordinator, presented the 2022 Crime Victim Services Grant Agreement, that provides funds for 2021-2023, in the amount of $140,000. The Board approved.

Sheriff Hanson requested Board approval to award the voice logging recording system (for 911 calls, radio traffic and telephone calls) to Northland Business Systems in the amount of $18,709.12. Hanson the system would replace the unit purchased in 2013. Funding comes from the E 911 account which carries an approximate balance of $244,000.

Approved the Revolving Loan Fund Agreement with South Forty Meat Market, LLC in the amount of $26,000 as recommended by the Redwood County EDA.

Approved the Southwest Initiative Foundation Grant Agreement in the amount of $10,000 for the services contract with Engan Associates for analysis and design work of a potential child care center (EDA serves as fiscal host for SWIF grant that covers cost).

The Board certified the 2022 Preliminary Levy at $14,971.471 with the adjusted tax levy for the 2022 budget set at $14,277,930 representing a 5.3% increase from the 2021 levy. The levy can be lowered at the Truth in Taxation hearing (Nov. 30) but cannot be increased.

Personnel items approved by the Board: •Promotion of Taft Anderson from full-time Custody Officer to full-time Deputy Sheriff effective 9-22-21 at Deputy 1 LELS pay scale, Step 1 at $22.77 per hour effective October 4. •Hire of two full-time Custody Officers at Step 1 of the LELS non-licensed Pay Scale, Custody Officer Grade, at $19.77 per hour: Austin Lasky, effective September 22 and Tyson Reynolds, effective September 27.

The next meeting of the Redwood County Board of Commissioners is Tuesday, Oct. 5 at 8:30 a.m.