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Despite administrator, county hires budget accountant

Staff writer

County commissioners debated Monday whether accountant Scot Loyd’s services were needed in drawing up next year’s budget now that the county has its own administrator.

Commissioner Randy Dallke asked whether administrator Tina Spencer needed Loyd’s assistance.

“My understanding is that having an administrator would save money,” Dallke said.

Spencer said she was comfortable with budget planning but a primary election would mean extra work and she still was in transition to her new duties. Budget planning must be completed by early July.

Commissioner Kent Becker said both Loyd and Spencer brought a lot of experience to budget planning.

Loyd has come to the county to talk to department heads in planning for the budget, then sets dollar amounts on what is needed.

Dallke said the county had never set a budget “until the last day.”

“Department heads ask for what they want and leave not knowing what they’re going to get,” he said. “I want a game plan.”

He suggested the county look at how other counties with administrators do things.

Becker said he’d like to see Loyd still involved.

“He does have some perspective,” Becker said.

Commissioner Jonah Gehring said Loyd brought “a lot of value on the audit side.”

“I don’t want to take that resource away from you, but on the other hand I want to save some money,” Dallke told Spencer.

Commissioners ultimately decided to hire Loyd this year and reconsider next year.

Commissioners also reviewed plans to remodel a portion of the road and bridge office, which will be vacated when the office moves to a building on Commercial St., and approved spending $40,702 to turn it into a new election office.

It will include an electronic voting system with voting machines, poll booths, scanning equipment, communication equipment, ballot activation devices, supervisor devices, and storage media.

They also approved spending $36,455 to remodel as Spencer’s new office courthouse space occupied by the county attorney’s office before it moved to the county house annex.

The work will include electrical updates to comply with code, new lighting, removal of fire hazards caused by antiquated electrical systems, and duct work ceiling tile, wall renovations, network cabling, flooring, and window bind updates. A conference room also will be added.

Demolition of the former food bank building to make way for a new health department was approved, but Spencer said she still doesn’t know when demolition work will begin.

Last modified April 4, 2024

 

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