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County gets early look at budget

Staff writer

County commissioners had their initial budget meeting Monday with accountant Scot Loyd.

Loyd presented a tentative timeline for the budget.

Commissioners should decide whether they want to reduce the mill rate and collect additional revenue from increased assessed evaluation, primarily because a 10-year exemption the legislature granted the Keystone pipeline through the county has expired.

Commissioner Randy Dallke said commissioners wanted to reduce the tax rate but would have to consider whether additional revenue from the pipeline would continue to come in.

The pipeline could shut down or come up with another tax exemption, he said.

Loyd encouraged commissioners to decide what road work might need to be financed before they finalize the budget.

“We’re probably going to have some advice from a bond counsel before we can do that,” commissioner Kent Becker said.

Loyd will return July 12 to work with the commission again.

County clerk Tina Spencer has shared information on the state’s new budget rules, which replace an old tax lid with a requirement that taxing entities record a specific vote if they increase spending despite keeping rates the same.

“I have expressed to the city clerks that if they need help, I can help them get started,” Spencer said.

In other matters Monday, commissioners learned that a courthouse flagpole they voted last week to replace at a cost of $9,467 would now cost $10,497. The bid they had accepted expired, and the price of aluminum has gone up. They voted Monday to repair the existing flagpole for no more than $2,000.

Assistant appraiser Nikki Reid was promoted to appraiser at a salary of $52,000 a year, and interim appraiser Karl Miller was appointed assistant appraiser at $30,000 a year.

Miller, who also is the appraiser for Stafford and Ellsworth Counties, was hired in October to help Reid transition into the job.

Reid will receive a $4,000 raise next year.

Commissioners also voted to purchase three cardiac monitors mandated for emergency medical services for $100,000.

Last modified July 1, 2021

 

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