County to set maximum levy increase

Published 10:49 am Monday, September 12, 2011

The county board’s ongoing budget talks should get a little clearer Tuesday.

Commissioners are expected to set the county’s maximum tax levy increase for the 2012 budget at their next meeting, which starts at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday in the county board room.

If all current and requested programs are funded in 2012, the county would need about $1.05 million in additional tax revenue — a 6.7 percent increase.

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Last week, Commissioner Ray Tucker estimated the board would approve a max levy of around 7 percent, though that could change.

“The budget is a moving target,” he said.

That also means the final levy increase could fall from the maximum set Tuesday, County Coordinator Craig Oscarson said.

“You’ve got a few months to figure out if you can cut and where,” he told the board last week.

The budget increases are being driven by a $200,000 state budget shift to Human Services and a $7,200 state budget shift to Correctional Services. The county is also budgeting for an additional $418,000 in local share of Out of Home Placements, which Oscarson said the board had hoped was a temporary increase.

The budget also calls for a $200,000 fuel budget increase.

In other business …

•The county board will discuss bids for the Roosevelt Bridge project. The project’s total cost could top $3.6 million, though only about $800,000 of that would be local funding.

•Margene Gunderson and Public Health staff will present on the Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP).

•Jim Stiles of the Izaak Walton League will discuss septic system concerns and county staffing levels.

•The board will discuss options for maintenance of Prairie View Cemetery, a once-abandoned cemetery currently being cared for by a Catholic priest.