Fillmore County's commissioners held their final meeting of the year this past Tuesday, Dec. 18, convening with a relatively short agenda.

County coordinator Karen Brown presented resolutions finalizing the 2013 budget and property tax levy, as required before the end of the year. The 2013 county levy shows an increase of 2.95 percent, and the final budget was increased by 7.6 percent due to increased contributions to the DFO Corrections fund.

County auditor and treasurer Shirl Boelter requested that the commissioners issue the remaining warrants on Dec. 28 or Dec. 31 due to the fact that the departments operate on a cash basis and would like to have their 2012 books closed. The next meeting the county board has planned is not until Jan. 8, which would leave the bills unpaid.

Commissioner Duane Bakke suggested that the bills be paid and sent out as a notice to all commissioners and the press, and Commissioner Thomas Kaase posited that posting the list of warrants paid on the county website would allow for transparent governing. A vote to pay the warrants and notify the commissioners and press passed.

Human Resources coordinator Kristina Kohn asked the board to consider the 2013 merit adjustment to employees' pay plans, as union employees were set to receive a 1.75 percent raise, as opposed to the 1.5 percent raise that non-union employees were to receive. The commissioners questioned whether the 1.75 percent was in the budget, and Kohn replied that some employees had recently received a raise, but had not the year before. "It all evens out over time," she advised.

Elected officials' salaries were the next topic of discussion, as the commissioners' salaries have not been changed for several years. Commissioner Randy Dahl proposed keeping them at $20,000, the amount that the board has been receiving for their service to the county.

Bakke stated, "I've been reading the paper, and it was 10 years ago that we last changed this, and that was because it was out of whack, and one of these years, we're going to have to make a motion to get it back in the 95th percentile of the area."

Brown pointed out that the 2012 average pay for commissioners in the area is $23,370. The board voted to remain paid at $20,000 for the coming year.

County attorney Brett Corson requested a salary of $92,544.47, or 88.43 percent of the regional average for county attorneys, plus a cost of living adjustment. His request was granted, as was Boelter's request for a salary of $70,337. County recorder David Kiehne's salary request was $60,500, a $4,300 increase from his 2012 salary. Fillmore County Sheriff Daryl Jensen's total request - which includes his role as emergency management director - for $86,912 was granted.

The consent agenda included approving the Dec. 11 board minutes, approving family and medical leave for two employees for up to 12 weeks, extending training probation through March 13 for an employee, paying a partial pay request of $3,860 to Mavo Systems, Inc. for work done at the highway administration building as recommended by Kane and Johnson Architects, approving the commissioners' warrants and the auditor's warrants.

Commissioner Chuck Amunrud updated the board on progress made in the design and approval process for the proposed veterans' cemetery before the meeting adjourned, noting that "it's well on its way" since plans have been submitted to the proper party in Washington, D.C.