Archived Story

County to set budget, levy

Published 9:55am Monday, December 16, 2013

The county board should have a busy morning Tuesday.

The board is scheduled to set its 2014 budget and levy, set salaries for elected county officials and accept or deny a key document for a local wind farm project at its regular board meeting, which starts with Human Services business at 9 a.m.

At 9:30 a.m., the board is slated to set its levy increase and budget for 2014. At the Dec. 4 Truth in Taxation meeting, county officials said they are confident they could bring the maximum 2.2 percent tax levy increase to below 1 percent for 2014.

At 2.2 percent, the 2014 tax levy would be about $17.6 million, but county leaders could lower it to $17.3 million — a flat levy change.

Then at 10 a.m., the board is slated to accept or deny the environmental assessment for the transmission line and substation for the 100-MW Pleasant Valley Wind Farm. Renewable Energy Systems Americas had HDR Engineering prepare the assessment to address the concerns voiced by the public at a Nov. 5 public scoping hearing, along with additional written comments from the public. The environmental assessment includes information on the human and environmental impacts of the proposed project and addresses methods to reduce the impacts.

If the board denied the document, it would likely sent it back to RES officials for more work.

Once the county board accepts the draft, the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board will publish the assessment online and the public will have 10 days to submit comments on the final environmental assessment. RES Americas are aiming for the final environmental assessment to be published on Jan. 6, 2014.

The board is also scheduled to set the 2014 salaries for County Attorney Kristen Nelsen, Sheriff Terese Amazi, County Recorder Jill Cordes, Auditor-Treasurer Doug Groh and the county commissioners.

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