Dunn County reviews $71.9 million budget for 2014

By LeAnn R. Ralph

MENOMONIE — The Dunn County Board of Supervisors has reviewed the $71.9 million budget for 2014 and will approve the budget and tax levy at the November meeting.

The budget for 2014 is a balanced budget, said Gene Smith, county manager.

The debt service payment of $1.682 million for The Neighbors of Dunn County, which has replaced the old Dunn County Health Care Center, is not part of the tax levy and is listed as a “transfer from other funds,” meaning that the payment will come from The Neighbors account and not the tax levy, Smith said.

The $71.9 million budget is nearly $3 million more than last year’s budget of $69.2 million.

This year will be the last year that Dunn County will be collecting the $500,000 approved for five years by county taxpayers in a referendum election, said Tonya Kusmirek, Dunn County’s chief financial officer.

The $71.9 million budget includes a 6 percent increase for health insurance and salary increases for those in the Powers of Arrest union and regular step increases.

Don Kuether, county board supervisor from Menomonie, wondered if the county board should be worried about losing employees because of no pay raises.

The county board’s committee on administration is reviewing the salary schedule and will make a recommendation at the November budget meeting, Smith said.

“To directly answer your question — yes,” said Steve Rasmussen, county board supervisor from Boyceville and chair of the Dunn County Board.

Tax levy

The tax levy for 2014 of $20,175,040 is $126,706 less than last year’s tax levy, representing a .62 percent decrease.

The numbers reviewed by the county board at the October 16 meeting are the numbers that will be published for the county’s 2014 budget, Smith noted.

If something changes for the budget or the levy, the county board can amend those figures at the November budget meeting, he said.

Equalized value

The equalized value for Dunn County for 2014 is $2.57 billion, representing a $31.7 million increase (1.25 percent).

The equalized value for 2013 was $2.54 billion.

Because the equalized value has increased, the mill rate will decrease.

The mill rate for 2014 is listed as .00785, representing a 1.85 percent decrease over last year’s mill rate of .008.

Expenditures

Expenditures for 2014 include $461,102 for the circuit court judges; $871,000 for the circuit court clerk’s office; $415,000 for the district attorney’s office; $736,000 for libraries; $2.4 million for solid waste and recycling; $3.4 million for human services; $14.4 for the health care center; $13.4 million for the highway department; $7.7 million for self-funded health insurance; $6.2 million for the sheriff’s department; $1.14 million for the communications center; $1.3 million for public health; $1.4 million for environmental services.