I have an issue with a few items in the proposed Goodhue County budget. In January 2018, we added $200,000 into the road budget, which I voted in favor of. Later in 2018 the countywide sales tax was implemented. I voted against this new tax because I thought $2 million was too much of an extra tax burden on our residents.

So in July this year we found out that the new sales tax will bring in $3 million. My thought is that the road fund is already getting an extra $1 million per year -- we could cut the $200,000, the county would still be getting $800,000 in new money. That is why I am pushing to cut the extra $200,000. After the large tax increases last year, I was hoping that we could give the people a break.

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If we cannot agree on a percentage increase on the board, the preliminary levy will be set at zero percent increase, which would not be all bad in my opinion.

I oppose a countywide trash ordinance. If you look at the documents on the county website that talks about the trash ordinance, you will see that the cost is $17.3 million over 20 years, assuming the price to dump trash at the new facility will never increase in the next 20 years. I would find that hard to believe. Also in the document it talks about at least $14 million to clean up the landfill. So the talk that a new ordinance will only cost $3 million is not entirely accurate.

Also in the document it states that 27% of the county will pay 50% of the increased costs. The 27% is all my district and a little extra.

The overall trash rates for Red Wing residents will actually go down, which is good for the residents, but they are going to have to live with the results from running the Xcel trash incinerator at full capacity. So I do not believe it is a win for Red Wing residents either.

Barney Nesseth


Barney Nesseth represents Goodhue County District 3.