Federal sequestration

Washington County Commissioners got a chance to see how county programs would be affected by the federal sequestration at the March 5 meeting.

Lowell Johnson, director of the department of public health and environment, said although nothing is set in stone yet, the department is preparing for some cuts.

"We're watching to see if those dollars impact us," he said.

One of the most popular programs within the department is the Women, Infants and Children (WIC), which receives federal funding.

"That one could have significant impact in the state of Minnesota," Johnson said, however, the county received direction to continue business as usual during the month of March.

The community services department, which receives $13 million in federal funds, has $10 million exempt from sequestration, according to county officials.

But the $3 million left are subject to cuts, including some in the child care assistance and social services grants.

Property records

Washington County began implementing an electronic system of recording real estate property documents in November 2011.

Jennifer Wagenius of the Property Records and Taxpayer Services department said the new system has been growing in popularity because of the quick response time it allows.

"Since November, electronic document recording has grown dramatically and now makes up an average of 20 percent of all recorded documents," according to a report provided by the department.

In February, the county added a fourth trusted submitter to the electronic recording of real estate property documents.

Electronic documents must be submitted by a trusted submitter as approved by the Minnesota Electronic Real Estate Recording Commission.

In 2011 the County Board approved the purchase and implementation of a Property Records Management System with electronic recording capabilities.

--Riham Feshir