• Last modified 662 days ago (Nov. 30, 2017)


Spare money in the budget, but what to do with it?

Staff writer

When voters went to the polls Nov. 7, they soundly rejected hiring a county administrator.

Now nearly $100,000 in the county general fund for a county administrator is available for a different purpose.

County clerk Tina Spencer said money in the general fund can be carried over to the following year’s budget or used for other things.

“Basically we just start the next year with that money available,” Spencer said.

Using the money for a different purpose would take a decision by commissioners.

“We can do whatever we want with it,” said commission chairman Randy Dallke. “We’ve got some things, like an IT person, that we could use it for.”

Dallke said when the county interviewed potential information technology directors, the most recent candidate proposed $70,000 for salary.

Dallke said he doesn’t see any particular county need that seems more urgent than others to use the money.

“There’s always things that happen through the year that we have to move some money around,” Dallke said.

“I don’t know what will happen to it yet — we haven’t discussed it yet,” commissioner Dianne Novak said.

Nevertheless, she has some ideas for its use.

“I still have a passion for that Bowron Building,” Novak said. “I think there are a lot of things we could do, like a roof.”

Novak said the most recent estimate on roof repairs for the Bowron Building was about $35,000.

“I’d like to put that $100,000 into at least the structural sealing up of that building,” Novak said.

She said often historic buildings are allowed to “sit there and rot.”

Novak said roads, gravel, and training for road crew come in second place as somewhere to spend the money.

She has one more idea where the money could go.

“I think for renovation or reconstruction of the transfer station would be a good place to put it,” Novak said.

Commissioner Kent Becker said he had not given the issue much thought.

“There’s a myriad of places we could go with it,” Becker said. “The cost of transfer stations. Putting in beds at EMS. We could buy rocks.”

Becker said he doesn’t know if or when the extra money in the budget be addressed by commissioners.

“I don’t know if any of the other commissioners have strong feelings,” Becker said.

Last modified Nov. 30, 2017