October 22, 2017

Commissioner Corner

Commissioner update Sept 2017

The work on cty # 1 has started, they will be replacing culverts and bridges this year. There will be some detours to deal with thru out the fall. They should finish all that work this year. Then next year we will be resurfacing the road.
There was a very spirited discussion about enacting a ½% sales tax on Goodhue county residents to help fund roads. I was happy to see all the public input at the county board meetings. Also I appreciate all the emails and calls in regards to this issue. I firmly believe that the public input against the new tax helped sway commissioner’s votes. Grass roots politics at it finest in my opinion. It was very evident by all the input from the public that they were not in favor of the new tax. Commissioners Allen, Majerus and myself voted against the new tax and Commissioners Anderson and Drotos voted in favor of the new tax.
The board set the preliminary levy at 33 million for 2018, this means the levy increase can be no more than this, but could still be less. This is an increase of a little over 2 million or about 6.55%. Commissioners Allen, Drotos and Anderson voted in favor of the preliminary budget increase. Commissioner Majerus and myself voted against the increase. I believe the starting increase number should have been lower. Because the last couple of years the preliminary number ends up being the final number. I researched some ideas to reduce expenses at the county level. At the last budget meeting I presented ideas on reducing the costs at the jail, but I could not convince 1 other commissioner to take a deeper look into it. I am working with the other commissioners on other ideas to reduce the budget.
There was some good discussion at the budget meeting about the extra 100k a year for the Cannon Valley Trail upgrades. It appears at this time, it is still in the budget. I will not support that extra funding until I see the users helping to pay for the upgrades.
I was given a tour of our jail facility this month. It was very interesting to see how the inmates are housed and the programs that are available to help them re-enter back into society. I was struck as to how clean the facility was and how well kept it was. Most of that work is done my the inmates that reside there.

Barney Nesseth
Goodhue County Commissioner