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County approves $24 million budget

Posted 10/13/10 (Wed)

By Tina Foreman
Farmer Staff Writer

The McKenzie County Commissioners have approved a budget for 2011 which represents a 52 percent increase from last year and a 9.5 percent increase over what was requested.
According to Frances Olson, McKenzie County auditor, the 2011 budget totals $24,436,806 compared to $16,022,009, which was budgeted for county expenditures in 2010. Although the total budget is going up 52 percent, only 4.5 percent of those funds will be coming from taxpayers.
“Last year the taxpayer’s portion was 5.2 percent,” says Frances Olson, McKenzie County auditor. “When you think about it, 4.5 percent is a pretty small portion of a $24 million budget.”
“We are pretty fortunate in McKenzie County that of our total budget, only a small percent is made up from taxpayers,” adds Olson. “Out of the $24 million budget, taxpayers will only be responsible for just over $1 million. When you think about it, that really is pretty low.”
Some of the notable increases to the portion of the budget covered by property taxes include an increase in road and bridge funding. Although the road and bridge fund received two million dollars less than was requested, the funds will be used to help keep McKenzie County’s roads in good shape
Large increases were also issued to the McKenzie County Sheriff’s Department for two new deputies and for repairs and updates to the county jail.
“Other than a few specific increases, most of the added funding is going to increased salaries and an increase to health costs,” adds Olson. “The county approved an across-the-board salary increase of $3,600 a year, and when you add that to a five percent increase to health insurance, it makes up the majority of our budget increase.”
A full listing of the 2011 McKenzie County Budget will be published as part of the McKenzie County Commissioners meeting minutes in the McKenzie County Farmer.