HHS will save taxpayer money

To the editor:

In response to letters (Oct. 21 issue), I think we should set the record straight.

First of all, I did say and strongly believe that the creation of the Health and Human Services Division will not cost the taxpayers any additional amounts. Ideally, it could actually lead to a slight reduction in spending.

The renovation of Annex 1 and Annex 2 along with the refurbishing of the Judicial Building would cost approximately $1.2 million. This project includes replacing windows and doors which are no longer energy efficient. It involves replacing carpeting that was originally put in Annex 2 when it was built in the 1970s. It includes an elevator which will make the basement meeting rooms in Annex 1 and the top floor of Annex 2 accessible to physically handicapped citizens and employees.

Walls and work spaces will be reconfigured to make it easier for the Health and Human Services teams to function. Employees will enjoy better ventilation and lighting as a result of this project.

With county cash reserves of approximately $12 million and healthy reserves in the Solid Waste Enterprise Fund, the county board is considering putting those dollars to work to make long overdue improvements in our facilities. With the current interest rates, those reserves are not helping reduce the tax levy. With the proposed allocations, all of the reserves will remain within state auditor guidelines.

I thought democracy was based on a majority vote. It would appear to me that a 4 to 1 vote is very democratic.

Gerald Ruda, Todd County Commissioner, Long Prairie

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