Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Ailene Croup
Moose Lake Star Gazette 

Pine County's spending on track


Pine County Administrator David Minke told the board, at last Tuesday's regular meeting, the county is on track with its 2013 spending.

Minke had graphs available which showed the percentage of budgeted funds spent by each department.

He said with 67 percent of the year complete, most departments are at that percent in spending except the jail and the facilities. The late snowfall last year was the reason for the additional facilities spending.

Health and human services (HHS) is operating at a deficit.

Minke called the HHS budget a "wild card." The 2014 budget for the department is expected to be over but back on track in 2015. The uncertainty comes from demands of the Affordable Care Act and MnChoice. Affects of those are unknown.

Counties are being "phased in," he said. Pine County will be one of the last counties to implement MnChoice. Pine, along with other counties, is "ramping up," expecting more clients, than those previously covered under medical assistance, to come through the county.

In other business:

- A public hearing was held concerning changes to the land office's fee schedule. Most of the fees increased, with the biggest change in the conditional use permit fee from $300 to $650.

There was no input from the audience at the public hearing and the board approved the changes following the hearing.

- The board approved renewing its joint powers agreement as a member of the Central Minnesota Emergency Medical Services Region following a presentation by EMS training coordinator, Marge Fagerstrom.

County Attorney John Carlson asked if there was an annual report outlining where the region spends the money it gets through legislation. Fagerstrom said it would have been available at the joint powers meeting.

Carlson said he has made a request to Marion Larson, the regional EMS coordinator, for the information.


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