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By LeAnn R. Ralph
MENOMONIE — The Dunn County Board has reviewed a proposed budget of $84.6 million for 2020 that does not include any borrowed money to balance the budget and is $1 million less than the 2019 budget.
The biggest issue for the 2020 budget is to stay inside the state-imposed levy limit of $21,043,202, and the proposed budget stays within the levy limit with a proposed property tax levy of $21,043,202, said Keith Strey, chief financial officer for Dunn County, at the Dunn County Board’s October 16 meeting.
To stay within the levy limit, the requests from county libraries of $817,215 and the bridge petition levy requests of $112,040 are “outside” of the levy limit.
State law allows municipalities to remove items from the tax levy subject to the levy limit, such as libraries and borrowed money, and levy for those items without them counting toward the state-imposed levy limit.
Dunn County is funding requests from public libraries in the county at 100 percent of the request.
To balance the proposed 2020 budget, $842,128 from the general fund has been applied, Strey said.
The amount of fund balance applied is within the 30 to 35 percent “target” recommended by the county’s auditors and is an amount that does not affect the county’s bond rating, he said.
The proposed 2020 budget of $84.6 million is $1 million less than the 2019 budget of $85.7 million.
The 2020 budget does not include any costs for remodeling the Community Services Building, Strey noted.
Remodeling of the Community Services Building is nearly finished, and offices in the Dunn County Government Center on Wilson Avenue will begin moving to the Community Services Building at the beginning of November.
The highway department’s budget of $12.3 million for 2020 will use $1.25 million from the highway department’s fund balance for equipment purchases, Strey said.
The proposed 2020 budget does not use any borrowed money to balance the budget, compared to the 2019 budget, which used about $8 million in alternative financing to balance the budget, he said.
Larry Bjork, county board supervisor from Menomonie, asked about the settlement with the county’s SAP computer software vendor.
SAP is software used to manage the county’s finances.
The county has previously budgeted $1 million per year for SAP, but the 2020 budget includes $500,000, Strey said.
The county has purchased infrastructure and is hosting the SAP site “in house” and “we are seeing the savings from that,” he said.
Last month’s payment of $300,000 was the last payment in the settlement with the previous SAP vendor, Strey said.
All together, Dunn County paid $1.3 million for the settlement.
At the November 12 meeting, the Dunn County Board will hold a public hearing on the proposed 2020 budget, is expected to take action on adopting the proposed budget and will set the tax levy for the 2020 budget.
Dunn County’s mill rate is expected to be $6.88 per $1,000 of equalized property value.