FIscal budget discussion

ANNE PRUSS (from left), clerk, and Madison County Commissioners Eric Stinson, Troy Uhlir and roads superintendent Dick Johnson visit Tuesday with some elected officials regarding the next fiscal year budget.

MADISON — Budget talks for the 2022-23 fiscal year began here Tuesday with the Madison County Board of Commissioners discussing the general fund budget.

But with only a little more than half of the office functions in place, it is still too early to project how much of an increase or decrease the next budget will be.

County clerk Anne Pruss, board chairman Troy Uhlir and roads superintendent Dick Johnson presented the general fund budget.

Uhlir said it would be his intention to try to limit the property tax asking to no larger than it was last year.

One of the issues with the county in the past has been that when other expenditures run too large, cuts are made to the roads budget.

“It’s not right, but it is the only flexibility we have,” Uhlir said.

It is hoped the county can still resurface 10 to 12 miles of roads in the next fiscal year, he said.

Commissioner Eric Stinson agreed. “Otherwise, you’re never catching up,” he said.

Commissioners also approved a tentative schedule for how the budget would be handled, including having property valuations set by Saturday, Aug. 20.

Jeff Hackerott, Madison County assessor, said Aug. 20 is the last date to have them certified, but he hopes to have them finished sooner.

In some years, the county is able to keep the levy the same or decrease it slightly, depending on the increase in valuations. The two factors that determine the amount of property taxes people pay are the levies set by each governing body and property valuations.

Tuesday was the first time commissioners had a chance to study the budget, but they were unable to review each county officer’s budget requests as they have not all been turned in.

Commissioner Ron Schmidt was not present for the meeting but participated by phone.

Of the budget requests that were turned in by some offices, the requests varied. Some were seeking modest increases while others remained the same.

One of the matters previously discussed was salaries. The board previously proposed a salary increase of 6.5% for county employees and a request to add more deputies and corrections officers.

The county is trying to bring employees up to at least $15 per hour and working to set a base salary for each office and making annual adjustments from there. That work is ongoing with Zelle HR, a human resources consulting firm.


Madison County Board of Commissioners

The Madison County Board of Commissioners met Tuesday.

Members present: Chairman Troy Uhlir and Eric Stinson.

Member absent: Ron Schmidt (excused).

Others in attendance: Anne Pruss, county clerk; Dick Johnson, roads superintendent; Todd Volk, sheriff; Jeff Hackerott, assessor; Monica Rotherham, district court clerk, and Joe Smith, county attorney, nobody from the public and one reporter.

Meeting lasted: 45 minutes.

ACTION ITEMS

— Recited the Pledge of Allegiance and had a moment of silence. Noted the open meetings law is posted and followed.

— Acknowledged receipt of the request for Norfolk voters to decide if Norfolk Sanitary District should be discontinued.

— Acknowledged receipt of the public official bond of Michael Johnson as president of Sanitary Improvement District 13.

— Acknowledged receipt of the public official bond of John Klein as treasurer/secretary of Battle Creek Rural Fire Protection District.

— Acknowledged receipt of levy allocation requests for rural fire districts of Battle Creek, Madison, Meadow Grove, Newman Grove and Norfolk, Madison County Agricultural Society and Norfolk Sanitary District.

— Set public hearing date for Tuesday, Sept. 13, at 6 p.m. to receive input regarding the 2022-23 fiscal year budget and adoption of property tax at an amount different from the prior fiscal year.

— Set public hearing date for Wednesday, Sept. 21, at 6 p.m. to receive input regarding subdivisions 2022-23 fiscal year budget to exceed 2% valuation plus growth increase.

— Set Northeast Community College Lifelong Learning Center location for public hearing for subdivisions 2022-23 fiscal year budget to exceed 2% valuation plus growth increase per LB644.

— Reviewed written reports and processed claims.

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