Dodge County 2019 Budget Advances Out Of Committee

(Juneau) The Dodge County Board’s Finance Committee along with department heads and county board supervisors advanced the 2019 budget out of committee Tuesday night. The proposed $112-million dollar budget includes a tax levy of just over $34-million, which would be an increase of roughly $193-thousand dollars from the last year. The preliminary mill rate of $5.40 per one-thousand dollars of assessed value would be a ten-cent drop from the number home owners saw a year ago. Following the budget presentation, Finance Committee Member David Guckenburger made a motion to remove $208-thousand dollars from the sheriff’s budget. Guckenburger points to early projections from Sheriff Dale Schmidt concerning how many positions would be eliminated if the old jail would close down. He says Schmidt estimated that 12 positions would go unfunded, but notes now that the old jail is set for closure at the end of the year, that number sits at nine. Guckenburger says he does not have authority to eliminate three positions but he can remove the money to fund them. Schmidt reiterated that the projected 12 positions was just an estimate, given before the county board decided on a direction for the old jail. He added that the number was also given before a staffing evaluation was completed which provided further insights into how many positions are needed at the newer detention facility. Schmidt says if further cutbacks are made it would trigger overtime and exceed what his budgeted for in 2019. The motion failed on a 3-2 vote. Guckenberger can still bring the item back up during the county board’s November 13 meeting which is when final budget adoption is anticipated.