Local News

Commissioners review preliminary budget

The Thayer County Commissioners denied a funding request from the Thayer County Economic Development Alliance (TCEDA) after deciding the $24,000 they extend to the group is enough.

“They asked for $40,000,” said president Dave Bruning, the same request made last year. And last year the commissioners denied the request stating extra funding should come from businesses, communities and individuals; those who essentially finance economic development. In fact, the commissioners suggested at the time that TCEDA actively reach out to those entities for the additional funds.

TCEDA director Arlis Hohl submitted a 10-year track record to the commission last month when she asked for the increase in funding, highlighting the group’s activities and expenditures. The commissioners were able to study the report for two weeks before making their final decision.

In other business, Thayer County  Weed District supervisor Bryan Schardt requested use of the district’s sinking fund to help pay for plumbing installation in a new office building. The weed board is currently solidfying plans for a $28,616 office building that will meet state specifications. Right now the office is housed in a quonset that is located on Highway 136 near the entrance to Deshler.

The board would like to build the new structure on the southwest corner of the lot thereby keeping the quonset for storage.

Schardt said the $3,500 currently in the sinking fund would help pay for the approximately $15,000 plumbing fee. The commissioners agreed to allow the board to use the fund.

In further business, county accountant Brian Blobaum assured the commissioners that the county is in good shape in a precursory glance of the budget. “Your position looks good,” he said. “There are no serious problems here.” In fact, he added, the county has $260,000 more to work with over last year.

What the commissioners do prior to setting the levy, is look at the different department’s budgets, i.e., fire departments, ag society, etc., to see if changes need to be made. Budget requests are due by September 1.

Blobaum gives the commissioners advance looks at what those budget requests might be based on averages over a three year period, but he must wait until he receives valuation totals to give specific amounts for all budget items.

In the meantime the commissioners can look over the accountant’s estimates and determine, based on past averages, what costs could be in the year ahead. Blobaum said one big change this year included the removal of the emergency tower project budget.

The commissioners will next meet with Blobaum on August 24 following the release of valuation numbers. The new levy will be set in late September.

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