Benton County approves budget for next fiscal year

Benton County Service Center

By Jim Magdefrau

VINTON – The Benton County Board of Supervisors approved their budget for 2021-22 after a hearing on Tuesday, March 30, at the Benton County Service Center, Vinton.

There were no comments from the public at the hearing.

The budget calls for $13.7 million in property taxes, up from $11.6 million this year. Intergovernmental money is at $10 million, down from $13.6 million this year. Revenues are $25.4 million, down from $27.3 million for this fiscal year. The county is looking to start the fiscal year at $8.6 million.

Expenditures are expected to be $27 million, down from $29 million for this year. Most of the money goes to roads and transportation at $9.2 million. Public safety and legal services are $5.7 million. County environment and education is dropping from $6.3 million to $3.5 million.

The county looks to have $9.7 million in countywide levies, and $4 million in rural only levies.

The tax rate is $9.85 per $1,000 of taxable valuation for rural areas and $6.01 per $1,000 for urban areas.

The budget document explains the weed department is now split from secondary roads and will be housed in rural basic. Insurance premiums increased, and projects increased within the county for buildings and office space. With Duane Arnold Nuclear Plant closing, the county’s share increased from emergency management.

Other business

The board approved a proclamation for April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Board Chairman Tracy Seeman read the proclamation out loud for the board, which focuses on education and support for victims and survivors. A representative from Riverview Center was at the meeting.

Deb Christianson’s resignation was approved from the Benton County Pioneer Cemetery Association. Justin Bierschenk was approved to be on the association.

The business lease agreement between Benton County and Cedar Valley Ranch was discussed. They also talked about water heaters at the facility and how to pay for their replacement. A one-year extension of the agreement was approved.

Benton County Engineer Myron Parizek had several temporary road closures approved. One is for a bridge replacement on 25th Avenue Drive in Harrison Township. They are working with Tama County on this. There is also a bridge replacement project on Highway V-37 in Bruce Township. Both projects are using the same contractor.

Parizek also discussed survey costs for the 61st Street project south of Vinton. Board member Richard Primmer wanted to wait on this until the City of Vinton decides what it is doing, especially if it is going to be annexed. They also visited with Wayne Siela, who is trying to work with the city and school on this.

One citizen at the meeting felt taxpayers’ money should go to other roads in Benton County, and asked if the project was in the county’s five-year plan. Parizek explained how work is planned for work on secondary roads. Every county and city is required to have a five-year plan, Parizek said.

The board and Parizek also talked about a cemetery project north of Blairstown.

The board approved the final plat for M & S Addition to Benton County.

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