ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Kandiyohi County budget and levy get review

WILLMAR ---- The $64 million budget and $29.8 million net levy proposed for Kandiyohi County for 2015 was presented during a truth in taxation hearing Thursday at the Health and Human Services building.

We are part of The Trust Project.

WILLMAR ­­- The $64 million budget and $29.8 million net levy proposed for Kandiyohi County for 2015 was presented during a truth in taxation hearing Thursday at the Health and Human Services building.
The budget reflects an increase of $517,000 over 2014.
Additional expenses include a 5 percent increase in health insurance for employees, adding staff to the jail to accommodate an increase in state prisoners that will be boarded there, purchase of vehicles including a new air supply truck for the rescue squad and a bulldozer for the landfill, improving technology and installing a new leachate treatment system at the landfill.
The budget also includes money that’s being set aside for future projects and purchases that will help the county be prepared to improvements rather than having to respond to a crisis, said County Administrator Larry Kleindl.
Every year the county budgets money for projects, such as expanding the landfill, to help keep the budget relatively flat, he said.
By budgeting for future projects and trying to keep the budget and levy from jumping up and down from year to year, Kleindl said there is less “shock” to taxpayers when large projects are completed.
The gross levy for the county is $31,68,000.
Once the county program aid of $1.7 million is applied, the net levy is $29.8 million, which is an increase of 2.8 percent from 2014.
Since 2009 the county program aid that comes from the state has decreased by more than a half-million dollars, with local tax dollars making up the difference.
Next year Kandiyohi County will receive $100,000 less in state aid than this year, in part because of the high value of agricultural land in Kandiyohi County.
The county is also losing revenue from the driver awareness program that had been used to pay for vehicles and equipment for the sheriff’s department. A judge ruled this year that counties could no longer operate those programs.
The only comment on the budget came from Barb Stahl of Blomkest, who questioned the Commissioner’s actions to approve tax abatements for businesses such as Jennie-O that, she said, could afford to make improvements without a tax break.
Chairman Jim Butterfield said the Commissioners review each tax abatement request on its own merit and consider the economic development value that the businesses, and the abatements, will bring to the county.
“We’d hate to lose the jobs to another part of the state,” Butterfield said.
The Commissioners will take action to certify the budget and levy at their meeting on Dec. 16.

Related Topics: KANDIYOHI COUNTY
Carolyn Lange is a features writer at the West Central Tribune. She can be reached at clange@wctrib.com or 320-894-9750
What To Read Next
Mike Clemens, a farmer from Wimbledon, North Dakota, was literally (and figuratively) “blown away,” when his equipment shed collapsed under a snow load.
Volunteers lead lessons on infusing fibers with plant dyes and journaling scientific observations for youth in Crow Wing and Olmsted counties.
The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission met on Jan. 5, 2023, to consider the application for Summit Carbon Solutions.
Qualified Minnesota farmers will receive dollar-for-dollar matching money to purchase farmland.