County hires finance director

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 30, 2003

Donna Welsh is Mower County's first-ever finance director.

Welsh's hiring was approved at the Mower County Board of Commissioners' meeting.

Presently, she is employed as finance director for Dodge County.

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Welsh lives in Pine Island and will be paid a starting salary of $56,260.

Welsh was one of between 25 and 30 applicants for the newly created job, according to Craig Oscarson, county coordinator.

She will report to Oscarson, but the terms of her employment make her a supervisor. Val Krueger, data processing manager, will work under Welsh's supervision.

The pair will take over the office vacated by the retirement of Bob Nelson, the former Mower County emergency management director.

The job of finance director was created by the county commissioners after a summertime meeting with Darwin Viker of LAWCO. Viker was retained by the county board to conduct a financial analysis of the county; particularly of its accumulation of more than $34 million in reserves.

One of the recommendations Viker made was to hire a finance director.

In other personnel matters Tuesday, the county commissioners authorized Daryl W. Franklin, county planner and zoning administrator, to seek applicants for a vacancy on the Mower County Board of Adjustment.

The vacancy occurred, when Joan Roe, of LeRoy, resigned because of term limits.

Also Tuesday, the commissioners filled a vacancy on the county planning commission.

Jane Thome, rural Adams, was appointed to the commission to replace Vance Larson, Sargeant, who resigned earlier this month.

In other action Tuesday, the county commissioners:

n Approved allowing a maximum of $1,500 to be spent for the county's display at the 2003 Home and Vacation Show at Riverside Arena in Austin. One-half of the amount will be used to purchase booth space and the other half to purchase gifts to give to the show's visitors on behalf of Mower County. The booth will be designed to encourage more use of the county's recycling program, plus to remind citizens of the importance of household hazardous waste disposal, changes in feedlot regulations and individual sewage treatment system standards.

— Approved the proposed transfer of Riverwood Estates flood buyout property along the Cedar River south of Austin to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. According to Franklin, the latest effort is similar to other county flood buyout ventures, where property is turned over to government units. Two other examples were property along the Cedar River in Austin relinquished to the city of Austin and property in Adams given to that city.

— Approved a bill for $4,147 to SEH Engineering, Inc. for the county's share of a rail crossing study being held in conjunction with the city of Austin, concerning the prospects for the DM&E rail line to travel through the county. The results of the study are expected early this summer.

— Approved a contract with the Minnesota Counties Research Foundation for an indirect cost allocation that will cost the county $8,000.

Lee Bonorden can be contacted at 434-2232 or by e-mail at