Brown County Commission 8.6.18

The Board of Brown County Commissioners met in regular session on Monday, Aug. 6, with the following members present: Chairman Steve Roberts, Dwight Kruse and Keith Olsen. Also present was County Clerk Melissa Gormley. County Attorney Kevin Hill was present for a portion of the meeting.

Michaela Moore, director of Hiawatha Foundation for Economic Development (HFED), along with HFED Board Members TJ Wilson and Ben Walker, were present to discuss the microloan for the Bread Bowl. Also present were Jake Wisdom of Wisdom CPA; Tom Kidwell, GNBank president, and Connie Matthewson, GNBank VP-BSA/AML Officer. The committee discussed what they could in public session about the current situation with the microloan. After discussion, Commissioner Roberts suggested that the HFED committee meet again with Wisdom’s new information. The decision on the microloan was tabled until after the HFED committee meets.

Elizabeth Lane, director of the Hiawatha Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau (HCVB) was present to speak with the commissioners about the dates and time of the Maple Leaf Festival and to get the conversation started about the Hiawatha Halloween Frolic. Commissioners approved the use of the Courthouse and Courthouse Square for the Maple Leaf Festival from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, and for the Halloween Frolic on Wednesday, Oct. 31, with the time to be determined.

Department Reports

Brown County Sheriff John Merchant reported there are 22 inmates — 15 males and seven females — currently at the Brown County Jail. Merchant also updated the commissioners on the 911 progress.

Commissioners entered into a five-minute executive session on non-elected personnel. Present for the session were Merchant, Gormley and the three commissioners, with executive session necessary to protect privacy interests. No binding action was taken.

District 1 Foreman Herb Roland was present to discuss the oil distributor. There is a problem with the wiring, which is causing the computer to read incorrectly. Van Keppel is coming to the road shop to do the repairs.

Brown County Treasurer Cheryl Lippold was present to introduce her new employee Kevin Kneisley. He began work on Aug. 6.

Budget Hearing

Commissioners held the 2019 Brown County budget hearing. The 2019 budget is set at $10.9 million. The estimated tax rate is 31.937 and is subject to change depending on the final assessed valuation. No one from the public was present to discuss the budget. The hearing was closed, and the budget was approved as presented.

Also at the meeting:

Minutes from the July 31 meeting were approved. Commissioners approved and signed the winter propane contract for the landfill. The total cost is set at $2,070.

The commissioners met Tuesday, Aug. 14, for the regular meeting and election canvass. These minutes were not available at The Herald’s press time.


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