Jail progress

Pipes can be seen sticking out of the ground for sewer lines as progress on the jail continues.

Dickinson County Commissioners voted to amend the Highway Sales Tax 2015 fund during their Thursday meeting to account for funds carried over.

Following a short budget amendment public hearing, the commission voted to amend the budget from $1,140,000 to $1,800,000.

“We had carryover from previous years and we spent that down,” County Finance Director Janelle Dockendorf explained.

“When we set the budget for the highway sales tax back in 2018, we budgeted $1.14 million which is what we were projecting the sales tax dollars would come in,” she said. “We did not expend all of those monies and we had carryover in those and we were able to do more work with sales tax dollars we had sitting in that fund.”

Dickinson County voters first approved a special one-half percent sales tax in November 2014 to be used exclusively for road and bridge projects. Collections began in April 2015. Just last month in November 2019, county voters voted to extend the sales tax for a 10-year period.

Dockendorf reminded commissioners that sales tax money recently paid for approximately $1.6 million of road repairs in the southern part of the county and “also did two major bridges and safety markings throughout the year,” she said.

Commission Chairman Lynn Peterson noted the budget amendment was a “housekeeping item that we need to do before the end of the year,” he said.

“These are the types of things auditors will look at and say ‘procedurally, this is how you remedy that’,” Peterson explained.

In an unrelated matter, Dockendorf said she had been looking at end-of-year expenses and projected expenses and was preparing to transfer money into capital funds, including capital equipment, capital reserve, health department capital equipment and special machinery.

“I try to do that annually,” she said, to build up funds so money is available if an unexpected expense comes up.

An example occurred earlier this year when the Dickinson County EMS building in Herington needed work due to settling issues.

“We had money in the capital fund to do it,” Dockendorf said. “It was just shy of about $100,000. Or we have to buy a cot for EMS or buy another vehicle for the sheriff’s department or whatnot. We try to build up funds and keep money in there.”

She also said all county departments stayed within budget this year and did a good job with the money allocated to their departments.

Jail update

County Administrator Brad Homman said that with the short week due to the Christmas break there was not much to report regarding construction of the new jail; however, work is proceeding on sewer lines.

“There was quite a few more pipes sticking out of the ground for sewer lines,” Homman said. “Plumbers are out there this morning getting work done.”

Also, electrical contractors have been working in the courthouse basement, getting “switch gear” installed; and concrete work is expected to begin within a week to 10 days.

Other

• The commission accepted the resignation of James Anderes as Banner Township trustee.

Contact Kathy Hageman at reporter@abilene-rc.com.

Contact Tim Horan at editor@abilene-rc.com.

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