Brown County Commission 3.11.19

Submitted by Melissa Gormley, Brown County Clerk

The Board of Brown County Commissioners met in regular session on Monday, March 11, with the following members present: Chairman Keith Olsen, Dwight A. Kruse and Richard L. Lehmkuhl. Also present was Brown County Clerk Melissa Gormley. County Attorney Kevin Hill was present for a portion of the meeting. Commissioner Olsen opened the meeting at 8:10 a.m. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all. Commissioner Lehmkuhl led the meeting with a prayer.

Commissioner Kruse discussed the Road and Bridge inspections. It was approved to contract with BG Consultants after review and approval of the agreement by County Attorney Hill. It was approved to contract with BG Consultants for the engineer study for traffic control devices on 230th and Nighthawk and 230th and Mulberry for $2,700.

Hiawatha Hospital

Hill updated the commissioners on the joint meeting from Monday, March 4. Hiawatha City Administrator Mike Nichols also was present to discuss the meeting. Hill discussed the resolution that was prepared by Kevin Cowan, Attorney for Gilmore and Bell.

John Broberg, Hiawatha Community Hospital Interim CEO, was present to discuss the current financial situation at the Hiawatha Community Hospital. Greg Rodvelt, Hiawatha Community Hospital Board President, was also in attendance.

The commissioners discussed the length of time that the sales tax would expire, comparing the five-year and 10-year expiration. Hiawatha City Administrator Nichols was present to discuss the difference in savings between the five-year and 10-year expiration date.

Commissioners approved, 2-1, Resolution 19-07, authorizing and providing for the calling of a special question election in Brown County, proposing imposing a one-half cent (.50 percent) countywide retailers’ sales tax for the purpose of financing the provision of healthcare services in the county as presented. Commissioner Lehmkuhl voted nay.

Duke Koeperich with Town and County EMS was present to discuss the ambulance agreement. Koeperich pointed out the changes that were made in the agreement. The agreement was accepted, contingent upon the Horton Hospital closing and review from County Attorney Hill.

Department Reports

Brown County Sheriff John Merchant reported that there are 25 inmates — 22 males and three females — in the County Jail.

Brown County Treasurer Cheryl Lippold introduced her new employee, Anne Olson, who started work on March 11.

Also at the meeting:

Commissioners entered into a 10-minute executive session on non-elected personnel with the three commissioners and Sheriff Merchant present, to discuss personnel matters of non-elected personnel with executive session necessary to protect privacy interests. No binding action was taken.

Commissioners entered into a 10-minute executive session on non-elected personnel with the three commissioners and Sheriff Merchant present, to discuss personnel matters of non-elected personnel with executive session necessary to protect privacy interests. No binding action was taken.

Brown County resident Sheryl Betts asked the commissioners if the county could help her fix her hot water heater, or if they knew whom she could contact to get any help. Commissioner Olsen told her the county could not help her but would try to get some numbers for her to call. Commissioner Lehmkuhl will contact her after the meeting.

Commissioners approved the March 4 minutes.

Tax Change orders 2018-103 through 2018-107 were signed and approved.

The commissioners accepted the resignation letter from Alvin Siebenmorgen. Siebenmorgen is the head janitor at the Courthouse. Siebenmorgen has worked for the county for 21 years.

Gormley presented a letter updating the Ruth and Roger Wolfe Trust Committee for the commissioners’ signatures.

The next regular meeting was held Monday, March 18. These minutes were not available at The Herald’s press time.

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