With no public comments received, the Marion County Board of Supervisors approved its Fiscal Year 2013 budget. A copy of the budget was printed in the Legal Notices of this newspaper, prior to Tuesday's public hearing and action taken by the board.
Supervisor Mark Raymie said the board has spent approximately two months, poring over each department's budget. He and the rest of the board thanked department heads for their willingness to closely examine their budgets, to find efficiency, before bringing them to the board. The supervisors' goal was to stick to core services and questioning why things are done that are not traditional county services.
"Our county needs to be able to function on what we produce in Marion County," Raymie said. The new budget will produce a net reduction in expenditures, according to Raymie. The board allocated money from the Local Option Sales and Services Tax to provide property tax relief. Some of the LOSST money will be used for capital improvements as well.
In a separate action, the board agreed to support the City of Pella's request for $25,000 for its new sports park. Pella sought $5,000 a year for five years.
Raymie suggested using LOSST money for this, but the question was raised by Supervisor Craig Agan whether or not using LOSST would jeopardize Pella's opportunities for matching grants. Agan indicated that some of Pella's exterior funding for the project requires support from the Board of Supervisors. More investigation will be done to determine which fund should be used to pay for the County's contribution to the project. No representatives from Pella were present at Tuesday's meeting.
The board took no action regarding a request for office space, from Mid-Iowa Community Action. This organization offers services to help families in Marion County. Agan was concerned about the hold harmless agreement between Mid-Iowa Community action and the County; it does not have specific numbers.