County Budgets and Levies Deal With Unknown and Unexpected Variables
By: Mary Balstad firstname.lastname@example.org
Polk County, MN – During Monday, October 11th, the ‘Food for Thought’ guest was Polk County Commissioner Joan Lee. Along with discussion of state committees and what is occurring on that end, locally the county offices are also very busy. Budgets and levies are two important and time-consuming aspects in the Polk County office. Lee says that the board of commissioners listen to 14 budget presentations, one for each department. However, within a department there can be over 30 budgets to report. As the presentations can be broken down into various parts of a whole, Lee states that it is a large undertaking for the departments to keep track of all the numbers.
With these numbers and budgets comes the unknown. Lee says there are more unknowns then the board is use to seeing. One such conversation is how utility costs are expecting to increase by approximately 25%. Other news includes the update on Sheriff department vehicles and how the county will supply such equipment with GMC’s recent withdrawal from Minnesota’s state program to provide vehicles for government bodies.
This shortage of new vehicles for government bodies will be a problem until next year. The Polk County office has decided to purchase the RAM vehicles despite no incentive pricing at the time. Other problems that have appeared include repair needs for the roof of the Juvenile Detention Center in Crookston.
Finally, there will be a budget hearing on December 14th at 6 P.M. at the government center in Crookston, Minnesota. Currently the levy budget is at 4.6%, or about $26 million. As this is an increase of $1 million from last year’s budget, the county says it will continually work to bring the levy budget down. The Polk County update is every second Monday of the month on the ‘Food for Thought’ program.