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Goodhue County Board briefs

County changes disability insurance carrier

The Goodhue County Board voted unanimously to switch the county's voluntary employee long-term disability insurance plan to Madison National Life, which will see a 20 percent reduction in rates.

The county received notice from the previous insurance carrier Ochs Agency that disability rates would increase greatly in 2014, Human Resource Director Melissa Cushing said. The county then decided to initiate a request for proposal to weigh alternatives.

The reduced rate through Madison National Life is effective Aug. 1.

More money approved for SEC project

County Board agreed to increase funding for the Southeast Collector, a road project off Highway 52 near the site of an announced Mayo Clinic hospital in Cannon Falls. The money will go to fund additional design work and to complete an environmental assessment worksheet.

The project has grown increasingly complicated due to the discovery of shale on part of the proposed road site, County Engineer Greg Isakson said.

The additional design fees are $70,636, bringing the total design contract with firm SRF Consulting to $151, 019. The fees will be covered by the county's allotted constructed dollars, Isakson said.

Biometric health testing to be offered for county staff

County Board approved a contract with Health Check 360, a biometric testing program, for county employees.

Volunteers with the program would submit a blood sample and have their health ranked on a 100-point scale, as well as receive a $50 incentive to their health savings account. If volunteers complete the test for a second year, they will receive an additional $50 if they score 71 or higher for their health rank.

If 70 percent of county employees and their spouses participate, cost of the program will be around $36,000, plus $10,800 in incentive costs.

Meeting watch

Tuesday's County Board meeting lasted 40 minutes before a recess prior to the mining ordinance public hearing. The meeting began with a closed session to review an employee complaint and hear legal advice from the county attorney. All commissioners were present.

-- Compiled by Michael Brun, staff writer

Michael Brun

Michael Brun joined RiverTown Multimedia at the Red Wing Republican Eagle in March 2013, covering county government, health and local events.  He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls journalism program.

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