(Juneau) The Dodge County Board adopted its 2023 budget Tuesday. It took nearly eight hours to get the $149.8-million-dollar document to a vote, largely due to supervisors discussing a total of 41 different amendments.
Of the approved changes, moving $839-thousand-dollars in American Rescue Plan Act Funding towards highway projects in 2024. The money was originally earmarked for purchasing a new emergency management mobile command unit. Supervisor Rob Boelk argued the money would be better spent on roads.
“The command unit we have now is adequate…I’ve used it in [Mayville] once when we had a flooding issue…I thought it was adequate for that time,” says Boelk who had previously served as Mayville’s mayor. “I don’t see any reason why we should purchase a new command center. I understand that we talked about needs versus wants…but I believe it would be beneficial for the county if we used these funds for other avenues.
The board also approved taking $15,000 from the General Fund to address challenges the county has had filling its vacant finance director position. Supervisor Lisa Derr stressed the job’s importance, especially during budget time.
“I think we kind of muddled through this and we got to commend our administrator, our chair…I know everybody felt frustrated but they have done this without a finance director,” says Derr. “And that really shows a lot of spirit…they really did a good job and yet we need a finance director desperately. We are going to have to offer more money for someone to come to this position.”
The post has been vacant since March after David Ehlinger resigned, citing long commutes as his reason for leaving.
Supervisors also agreed to spend $45,000 to fund necessary equipment and labor to set up recording of committee meetings, which Jeff Breselow supported.
“I think it’s a good idea…it’s a win-win situation,” says Breselow. “It gets everybody on the board up to speed with what’s going on…not to mention the public access. The public needs to see what’re doing and this is one of the best ways that we could have them do that.”
Friday, we take a deeper dive into the amendments the county board voted down. The 2023 mill rate of $3.96 per thousand-dollars of assessed value is an 82-cent decrease from the current budget year, while county property values are up 15-percent to $8.6-billion-dollars.