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Wadena County Commissioners: Coordinator/Engineer pay, Human Services report, lower level design


by Trinity Gruenberg

The Wadena County Commissioners held their regular meeting on May 21. 

Human Services Report

Amie Gendron shared statistical reports from Human Services.

The monthly financial statistics through April showed the total of MNsure and MAXIS (public assistance program software) 2705 cases. That number was 2842 in 2018. Family emergency assistance year-to-date is $874, last year totaled $5388. The cash balance at the end of April came in at $1,453,034. The beginning budget at the start of the year was $2,905,726. Gendron noted last year’s April fund balance was $1,949,993.

“Had we not had the cash call, our fund balance would be over last year’s by $59,000,” explained Gendron.

The budget utilization is at 34 percent, salaries and benefits are within the 33 percent, overhead/administrative costs is at 48 percent which is expected to decrease as the year progresses. Out of home detox and guardianship are higher.

Deb Nelson presented the SNAP and cash assistance performance report. The performance is measured by DHS to see if the county is meeting the threshold.  

It is measured on how well the county can meet the needs in a timely fashion, when the application was filed and when the applicant received assistance for the various programs. The performance for Wadena County in 2018 was 96.4 percent which came in slightly higher than Cass, Crow Wing, Morrison and Todd counties. 

The percent of expedited SNAP applications processed in one day was 193 (80.8 percent) for 2018, which is still the highest in the region. Nelson noted that due to the online application process, participants completion of mandatory interviews, and incomplete applications were among the reasons they were not at 100 percent. 

Nelson explained the caseload has gone down with 33 percent being transferred to other counties. The decline in population and aging population going into long term care makes them no longer eligible for food stamps or cash programs. . . .

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