Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Apr 19, 2014

Supervisors begin budget process for 2013

By DIANE VANCE, Ledger staff writer | Dec 11, 2012

Jefferson County Board of Supervisors will have an extra meeting at 1 p.m. Monday in the Jefferson County Courthouse first-floor meeting room to prepare next year’s budget.

“We’ll only be doing our own, board of supervisors budget at this time,” said board chairman Steve Burgmeier. “The auditor sent out budgetary timelines and some things need to be done prior to the end of this [calendar] year. All county departments need to submit their own budgets by Jan. 2.”

An audience member asked if the resignation of the transit director in Ottumwa affects Jefferson County.

“Yes. Diane Gawronksi resigned from 10-15 Transit,” said supervisor Lee Dimmitt. “Dave Silverio is appointed interim director, and they hope to hire a new director by February.

“Diane was instrumental in reaching out to all the communities served by 10-15 Transit, and one result is the free Hy-Vee shuttle.”

Supervisor Dick Reed said last week’s District Five legislative meeting was productive.

“It was an extremely good meeting,” he said. “We had dialog with [state] legislators and talked about mental health reform and a road referendum. No one had any answers or new information, but it was a good dialog.

“My idea is fix infrastructure.”

Dimmitt said 15 counties were represented at the Iowa State Association of Counties meeting and members chose top priorities to recommend to the State Legislature for attention and work.

“The state needs to be less concerned with counties spending money and be more concerned how it’s spending,” said Dimmitt.

The top five priorities for the 15 counties are:

• Proposals must be generally revenue neutral.

• The general and rural supplemental funds must be maintained, and counties must be allowed to levy additional dollars outside of the basic fund limitations for those specified supplemental purposes.

• Local governments must be able to exceed any limitation through a process less cumbersome than a special election.

• If there is a property tax credit, it must be funded or prorated.

• A comprehensive proposal must take the opportunity to uncouple agricultural and residential properties and allow market forces to determine the value of residential property (or in lieu of this, there must be a floor placed on the residential rollback).

At Monday’s regular meeting, the supervisors canvassed the votes cast in the Dec. 4 special election to continue a 6-cent tax levy for Indian Hills Community College. Voters living in Fairfield Community School District had 74 votes; 56 yes votes to continue the levy, which is used to buy instructional equipment and 18 no votes, opposing the continuation of the levy.

Reed asked about the cost of the special election and Jefferson County Auditor Scott Reneker said the Dec. 4 election cost his office $1,500, but IHCC will reimburse the county for its expenses.

“I’m interested in knowing the costs of the general election, especially what I call convenience voting,” said Reed.

Iowa allowed voters to cast absentee ballots in person beginning 40 days prior to the Nov. 6 Election Day. The ballots cast early involve more paperwork.

Reneker said he would provide those costs in the near future, they were still being calculated.

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