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Commissioners approve county budget, set new tax rate

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HARTINGTON — The $27.8 million Cedar County budget was passed with little fanfare as no one from the public attended the budget hearing last week and it was approved by the Cedar County Commissioners unanimously with no discussion.

The budget and tax rate was approved as advertised in the public notice.

At first glance, it looks like the county’s operating budget went up 12 percent year over year but those figures can be misleading, said County Clerk David Dowling, since it includes COVID stimulus funds of $1.6 million.

“We really don’t know what the money can be spent on, yet, but we have to budget to spend it,” he said, adding he doesn’t anticipate spending any of the money this year since there are limitations on how the funds can be spent.

Cedar County property owners will be funding the county at almost 26 cents per $100 in assessed value for this year’s budget.

After budget concerns were handled, commissioners discussed and approved the accepting of bids on a small bridge project near the Pierce-Cedar county line. As part of the project, the county will have culverts installed with a 50 percent cost-share.

Engineer Mark Mainelli was on hand to discuss other road projects and road conditions in the county, presenting information on how much damage each piece of equipment and types of trucks at various weights cause to the county’s roads.

He provided information on four specific roads in the county that get high traffic and may need repair.

At its meeting last week, the commissioners also:

- Heard a building permits report from Zoning Administrator Tim Gobel. Building permits were issued for Lori Millard for a deck; Kevin Klug for a 24-foot-by-34-foot garage addition to the house; Tim Allen to move a mobile home onto property; and Martin Albrecht for a 30-foot-by-45-foot pole barn.

- Approved accelerated tax on a parcel of land and a tax correction on a parcel of land after discussion with Assessor Jeff Curry and Laurel City Attorney Keelan Holloway about exempt property statutes.

- Certified the county road budget.

- Approved a special designated license to Nissen Wine.

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