Following a brief closed meeting Tuesday, the Rice County Board of Commissioners agreed that its administrator deserves a raise of almost $6,000.

That puts Sara Folsted’s annual salary at $155,521. Folsted began her tenure in Rice County in July 2016 after serving as Renville County administrator.

Since that time, she’s earned praise from the board, and has led the county not only during the coronavirus pandemic, but from approval to construction of an addition and renovation of the Government Services Building. The county highway shop in Faribault is currently being renovated and an addition is being built, and a subcommittee is working with a consultant on a plan for possible improvements to and expansion of the old county jail on Third Street NW.

Additionally, Folsted has worked with Faribault city officials to help expand economic development in the county, notably a second Daikin Applied plant.

The administrator’s performance was evaluated in the areas of organizational management, fiscal/business management; program development; relationship with board; long-range planning; relationships with the public, public relations and interagency relations; and professional/personal development.

The board graded Folsted’s performance as “Successfully Meets Expectations” and “Consistently Exceeds Expectations” in all competencies and accountabilities.

Comments provided by commissioners to Human Resources noted that Folsted is easy to work with, accessible and keeps the board apprised of relevant county goings on and information. They also noted that she’s always on the lookout for outside funding opportunities that could relieve some pressure on county taxpayers, and her quick action and planning during the COVID-19 crisis.

“It required quick action, planning & reaction,” said the commissioner, who was not credited by Human Resources staff. “Sara met this challenge & continues to consider the safety of staff/public & still deliver the services the county is responsible for.”

Reach Regional Managing Editor Suzanne Rook at 507-333-3134. Follow her on Twitter @rooksuzy. ©Copyright 2020 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All rights reserved.

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