7/30/2013 1:23:00 PM Dodge County adopts
wheelage tax, but not sales tax
By Gretta Becay
The official resolution approving the $10 per vehicle wheelage fee for vehicles registered in Dodge County was approved by the county commissioners at their meeting July 23, 2013.
The commissioners decided to use the estimated $193,000/year generated by the tax on projects they approved each year, rather than floating a bond issue for a larger amount for a big project and using the wheelage fees to pay off the bond - over, for example, a ten-year period.
The commissioners decided not to approve the one-half percent sales tax authorized by the legislature this year. Those funds were also to be used for transportation projects only.
In other business, the group approved:
Sharing the cost of a solar pedestrian crossing sign with flashing lights on a crosswalk near the Triton School complex with the city of Dodge Center and the school. The sign is to help students cross County State Aid Highway (CSAH) 34 more safely. The exact location is being discussed.
Proceeding with construction of the solar photovoltaic system at the county recycling center. The process began last year when the commissioners approved a proposal from Solar Connection Inc. to build the 20-kilowat system for a cost of about $74,000. Now the county has learned that Xcel Energy has awarded the county a $30,870 rebate which may be used to help pay for the system.
A temporary amendment to the solid waste management agreement with Olmsted County raising the tipping fee in 2014 to $113/ton until 2016. This will add $57,000 to the county's costs and could prompt an increase in rate changes to haulers and customers in the county. The county last raised disposal fees in 2010.
Accepting a $100 donation from the Dodge Center Lions Club to be used for taking youth to the Aug. 28 Minnesota Twins game.
Accepting $300 from McNeilus Steel and $50 from the Kasson Dental Clinic to sponsor a softball team from the sheriff's office to play in the annual Southeastern Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association softball tournament.
Awarding the contract to Minnowa Construction for the Vernon Township slope stabilization project along 720th St east of CSAH 13.
After the meeting, the commissioners heard a presentation by Jeff Nelson, of PSC Alliance, a telecommunications consulting firm, about the feasibility of combining the county dispatch center with another dispatch center in the region. Because the county's dispatch center is run as efficiently as any of those studied, commissioner John Allen suggested the county look into other dispatch centers being merged with Dodge County, not vice versa. The center would have more space in a relatively short time because of the county's purchase of the former Kasson Mantorville middle school. Statistics for Goodhue, Rice/Steel consolidated, Rochester/Olmsted, and Wabasha dispatch centers were reviewed.
The commissioners will meet again at 9:30 a.m. Aug 13 at the county courthouse in Mantorville.