County finalizing tax levy increase
The county’s budget will be final by the end of this week so a hearing on a proposed increase in the tax levy can be scheduled as required.
Accountant Scot Loyd and commissioners reviewed the proposed budget Monday, looking to make tweaks before publishing it in next week’s newspaper.
After logging into the commission’s electronic meeting, Loyd made several unsuccessful attempts to hear commissioners.
“I’m not familiar with GoToMeeting,” Loyd said.
He finally phoned into the meeting, but kept his computer running. The dual audio resulted in echoes throughout Loyd’s discussion with commissioners.
“Back in the old days, I would be there at the Marion County commission, but I didn’t feel well over the weekend,” he said. “I haven’t been tested, but I didn’t want to take any chances.”
Loyd said county clerk Tina Spencer reviewed the budget over the weekend, and had a few questions.
Loyd said he and Spencer adjusted the ambulance department budget to $1.2 million to include raises.
Loyd put remodeling of a building purchased for the health department as a project that would be paid for by federal stimulus money.
He said he would have the budget finished by Friday so it could be published in the paper in time.
Commissioners also heard Monday that the state appraiser’s office had approved county appraisals.
In an Aug. 19 letter, David Harper, director of the Department of Revenue’s property valuation division, wrote that the county was “in substantial compliance.”
Engineer Brice Goebel updated commissioners on the progress of roads. He wants to apply for grants to replace bridges and is asking commissioners to set a portion of money the county will pay toward project costs.
Commissioners want to focus on roads with higher traffic instead of some of the roads where Goebel wants to replace bridges.
Commissioner Randy Dallke said he considers a bridge on Pawnee Rd. two miles south of Aulne to be on “a high traffic secondary road” that the county should be willing to spend more money to replace.
In other business, commissioners:
- Reviewed applications for ambulance department director in executive session.
- Discussed pending litigation with county counsel Brad Jantz.
- Discussed personnel with treasurer Susan Beg in executive session.