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County Board holds hearings on budget, capital projects

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County Board holds hearings on budget, capital projects
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

Public hearings on Beltrami County's 2011 budget and Capital Improvement Program will be held Tuesday.

The budget hearing, required by law as a "truth in taxation" hearing, is 6 p.m. at the County Administration Building, 701 Minnesota Ave. The CIP public hearing will be held as part of the board's regular 5 p.m. meeting.

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The 2011 budget calls for a property tax levy of $16.9 million, or $73,513 less than this year's levy, a 0.43 percent decrease.

The biggest decrease among regular levies is in road and bridge, with a 3.03 percent decrease. The revenue fund, which funds most of the county's general government, is going up 2.25 percent and the human services levy down 0.84 percent.

In special levies, ended is the jail debt service levy, a $300,000 item in 2010.

The actual 2011 budget, including revenue from all sources, is $54.2 million, about $4.3 million less than the 2010 budget.

The Capital Improvement Plan is a multiyear guide to the construction or improvement of county roads, facilities and the acquisition of capital equipment.

Major projects include $2.5 million to renovate the jail and $1.25 million for a County Highway Department expansion to include the relocation of the County Natural Resource Management Department.

About $3.45 million is planned for county road and bridge work, of which $900,000 is county funds. Capital equipment is planned at $1.695 million for 2011and $62,000 is planned for parks and recreation work.

Also during the regular meeting, commissioners will award bids for a jail energy improvement project, with $280,000 budgeted to replace the antiquated jail electronic controls in 2011 as a jail maintenance project.

The regular meeting includes a public hearing on the county's fee schedule, with few changes, awarding 2011-12 contract for remonumentation services and authority to fill a vacancy for a full-time social worker/case manager.

At the board's 3 p.m. work session, commissioners will discuss Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians' request to the state to provide tribal Temporary Aid to Needy Families cash assistance to reservation eligible families. The proposed start of the program is Jan. 1.

County staff have been participating in meetings with the state Department of Human Services and tribal staff.

Commissioners will also hear a pre-design study from MJ Architectural on project scope and cost estimates for the project to renovate the County Highway Department and move NRM to that facility.

Commissioners will then discuss legislative priorities for the 2011 session, ranging from specialty courts to ,maintaining payment in lieu of property taxes for state-managed lands.

The County Board's consent agenda includes county bills and a warrant payment listing, approval to certify a special assessment for unpaid addressing fees, and approval of right-of-way easement for a private landowner and a right-of-way easement amendment for Enbridge.

Other business includes revocation of Little Dip Loop Drive Northeast, approval of a human services host county waivered services contract, approval of a contract with B-CAP for distribution of emergency assistance funds under the Minnesota Family Investment Program, and regular monthly human services reports and licensing.

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