The Douglas County Commission today inched its way to the 30-mill tax mark with the 1993 budget but decided to do some more trimming before approving the budget for publication.
Commissioners snipped $28,000 from the budget this morning, which lowered the county's proposed levy to 30.095 mills. A mill is $1 of tax for every $1,000 in assessed property valuation.
The $28,000 cut came from two sources $18,000 from the special building fund and $10,000 from the Emergency Preparedness depreciation fund.
The county needs to cut about $35,600 to reach the desired 30-mill levy. Commissioners spent about 1 hours discussing other possible cuts but could not reach a consensus.
In one instance, Commissioner Mike Amyx wheeled out a plan for the third straight year in which annual county road maintenance would be reduced. Amyx suggested that the county repair only a fourth of the county's roads annually instead of the current standard of one-third of the roads, a plan that Public Works Director Frank Hempen called "a mistake."
Siding with Hempen, Commissioner Louie McElhaney said postponing small repairs can increase maintenance costs later on.
McElhaney did demonstrate a willingness to give ground in another area of the budget as a last resort. He said he would consider paying off the bonds issued to widen Sixth Street from Kasold Drive to Monterey Way over an unspecified number of years instead of paying a lump sum next year to retire the debt. McElhaney said he preferred the full payment to eliminate future interest costs to the county.
But he said if the commissioners could not agree on further budget cuts, he would be willing to retire the debt over a period of a few years.
Heading into today, the commission had cut and adjusted the proposed $21 million budget by $236,228. That work had lowered the initial proposed levy from 30.832 mills to 30.17 mills.
Commissioners face an Aug. 5 deadline to publish the budget.
Commission Chairman Mark Buhler was out of town and missed the meeting.