WAHOO – After a week-long vacation from meeting, the Saunders County Board of Supervisors got down to business at the Sept. 15 meeting by approving the county budget for fiscal year 2020-2021.
The adopted budget totaled out at $80,046,406.43 with a tax request of $10,139,562.69, which is the same amount for the 2019-2020 tax request. Because county valuations rose 2.5%, the tax levy was lowered slightly from $0.252231 in 2019 to $0.246046 per $100 property valuation this coming year.
If a home in Saunders County is assessed at $150,000, the owner will pay a tax of $3,690.69 which is $93.78 less, or a 2.5% decrease, than what was taxed in 2019.
According to County Zoning Manager Mitch Polacek, there weren’t any substantial changes made to the budget besides the transfer from the inheritance fund to the Highway Department for specific road-related projects such as County Road 11.
The amount of $1,520,176.58 was transferred for County Road 11 leaving $1.5 million in the inheritance fund in case of emergencies, Supervisor Chairman Doris Karloff said.
County Road 11 is one of the highest traveled gravel roads in Saunders County. The plan is to grade, structure and pave the 13 miles from the county line north to Nebraska Highway 92 near Mead.
Because of the high volumes of regular traffic and truck traffic, paving this county road is imperative for safety.
“These are projects that you know a lot of people look at and say wow you know we don’t need this,” Mika said. “But after it’s all said and done, it’s a big improvement. It’s a big help. I mean, there’s probably arguments on both sides, but I think of all the roads that need to be paved in the county this is the absolute number one.”
Highway Superintendent Steve Mika said that the transfer from the inheritance fund will likely only cover the grading and structuring for phase one of the project, six miles from the county line north to Highway 66. Once the grading
and structuring is complete, Mika said they will begin to save for the pavement of the road. Mika estimates the entire 13 mile project will cost an estimated $4.5 million.
Supervisor Dave Lutton also said during the meeting that he wants to ensure that this transfer is intended for specific road projects, like County Road 11.
“We need to monitor,” Lutton said. “I don’t want to transfer just to transfer.”
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