Lyon County to participate in upcoming census

The county board Tuesday agreed to participate in the upcoming 2020 census. The county joins the City of Marshall in establishing a “Complete County Committee” to plan and implement strategies to promote the census.

“We understand the importance of the census as it relates to factors such as the allocation of federal and state funding and redistricting on the local, state and federal levels,” indicated Board Chairman Gary Crowley in a letter to the U. S. Census Bureau.

The committee’s job is to, “Create awareness among employees of the county’s largest employers and students/staff at Southwest Minnesota State University to promote census participation.”

They also will make sure each resident within all cities and townships in Lyon County are aware of the importance of an accurate census. At the September 17 meeting of the county board, Jim Accurso of the U.S. Census Bureau told the board it was important to increase awareness of the census. Accurso also has visited with Lyon County Auditor/Treasurer E.J. Moberg in an effort to transfer information to the county concerning the census. Moberg said a letter to Accurso will tell the Census Bureau the county board will desire to join the committee to help create an accurate census.

County pay structure reviewed

Lyon County Human Resources Director Carolyn McDonald asked the county board to review the “compensation structure” used to pay county employees.

“We compared it with wages with greater Minnesota counties,” she said. This did NOT include metro counties. The board accepted the new county comprehensive compensation structure.

“It has taken over a year to complete the compensation study and pay structure,” said McDonald. “We received all systems in full and compared the minimum wages of Lyon County employees,” said McDonald.

She indicated some county positions needed to be put on a different level and will have increased salaries based on what other counties are paying for similar positions.

Each position was reviewed individually based on a “Point Factor System.” “Pay equity is what we’ve got to pay our people,” said Commissioner Charlie Sanow. He indicated the pay equity is based on state legislation.

“You’ve got to follow the legislation,” said Sanow. In the system, points are assessed on the following factors: educational requirements, autonomy, supervision exercised psychological demands and overall work conditions on each position.

IN OTHER action the board:

•Approved a 3.2 percent malt liquor permit to Todd Nelson of the Saratoga Archery Club in Amiret Township. •In an attempt to get the best price, the sheriff was asked to get bids for new portable radios, rather than accepting the only bid from Motorola. The cost of five new portable radios for the sheriff’s offices was at $4,399.25 each. The old radios are ready to be retired. Commissioner Steve Ritter asked if there were other firms offering these portable radios. Sheriff Eric Wallen said, “There are several.” Commissioner Ritter said he favored putting these radios out for bids in an attempt to get a better price. “It behooves us to look at others and come back at the next meeting,” said Commissioner Rick Anderson. Commissioners seemed to think Motorola has had a “strangle hold” on the county since no other bids were taken. Other prices will be received before the county approves purchase of the radios.

•Approved 2020 pay raises at two percent over 2019. That’s the same raise agreed on by the union. The board had a five percent raise in 2019 and now will have a two percent raise in 2020 and 2021.

•Approved hiring Dan Sprengeler as a property appraiser. He will start Dec. 18 and will be paid $21 per hour. He’s a graduate of SMSU in Marshall.

•Approved the 2020 levy to be finalized. “Were down to the wire,” said County Administrator Loren Stomberg concerning the final levy for 2020. “The bottom numbers have not changed,” said Stomberg, and the 3.2 percent increase, or a financial increase of $329,000 will be submitted as the final levy.

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