9/27/17 – Budget deliberations began in committee yesterday as county departments presented an overview of their 2018 budget plan. Finance committee member David Frohling says the goal is to help expedite the process. He says being able to review each department at a time allows for an open dialogue and answer any questions so there are no surprises at the county board’s budget hearing. Among the departments reviewed yesterday was the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office, which has one of the largest budgets in the county. Sheriff Dale Schmidt says the department saw a minimal increase of $41,000 from last year’s budget. He says this year’s budget was challenging but at the same time relatively simple to work through. Schmidt says their biggest priority was taking care of their employees and putting wages where they need to be so they can attract quality candidates for open positions. County Administrator James Mielke says the $111-million-dollar budget includes a tax levy of just over $33.8-million dollars, up $500-thousand from the current year. The proposed mill rate of $5.49 would be close to two cents less than the number homeowners saw last December. The budget contains a health insurance premium increase of four-point-five-percent. The Finance Committee will meet October 24th to hold a final review of the document before it is brought forth to the county board.