NEBRASKA CITY – The Otoe County Board approved a budget Tuesday that includes a one cent increase in the property tax levy and additional spending to upgrade the 911 communications center.
Commissioner Jerad Sornson credits meeting with each individual elected office holder to keep expenses down, despite a 14 percent increase in health care insurance and wage increases.
Sornson: “I think we did really good at keeping a minimum of having to raise the levy at all. The one cent, for what we had in increases, is huge. We have some road equipment that does need attention, but we’re going to go through another year here and try to address some of that next year.”
The county’s tax valuation rose this year by $4.2 million.
Commissioner Rick Freshman noted that the county is financing a $6.4 million road budget, a $1.1 million sheriff’s budget and a $929,000 jail budget.
Freshman: “Plus, we’re doing this $1.5 million upgrade to the 911 system that had to be budgeted in. So, we had to do some cutting in other departments to budget that in. The city of Nebraska City is involved with that new 911 communications center.”
The county and city will pay an upfront administration fee and additional costs of $87,000 for the 911 upgrade this year. The county’s financing on the 10-year bond will be $83,000 this year.