County tax levy at $18.5 million

The Sherburne County 2000 tax levy was lowered by three-fourths of a percent Tuesday.
The Sherburne County Board of Commissioners set the proposed tax levy in September.
County Administrator Brian Bensen has been working on the budget to try to lower it. The proposed net levy now stands at an estimated $18.5 million, an 8.34% increase from this year.
In September, the initial levy was set at $18.63 million, a 9.07% increase from 1999.
Expenditures proposed for the upcoming year are $40.37 million. This is a .07% ($28,500) increase from this year.
Proposed for spending in 2000, the social service department has the biggest chunk by spending about $10.38 million, 25% of the budget.
The general administration expenditures is about $8.78 million and the public safety and corrections will spend about $8.32 million. Public works is proposed to spend about $6.51 million in 2000.
Revenues for 2000 are estimated at $20.43 million, a seven percent decrease from this year.
For 2000, 33 people are proposed to be added to county staff. Twenty-eight will be working in the jail department.
The public health department requested that their fulltime nurse remain in the budget. The commissioners approved a contract last week with Fairview Hospital to work with the jail department. The question remains if a public health nurse is needed now.
Kathy Landwehr, acting county public health director, says the nurse position is needed for three reasons. One is there are duties that were previously held by the nurse in the jail that would be lost and will need to be transferred to the existing staff.
Some of the duties include administering vaccines at various clinics and to read mantoux tests for correctional officers and the public health staff.
She also said a fulltime nurse is needed for programs that the department is currently doing and need to be expanded due to legislature mandates. Some of the programs include tobacco endowment activities and clinics that are demanded by the community - foot clinics, child passenger safety, home safety and environmental health.
Landwehr also said they do not have enough staff to help write grant proposals.
The commissioners requested more information on the position before they decide whether a fulltime nurse is needed. They will make a decision next month.
“I’m sorry I have to be the bad guy, but the duties are no longer there,” says Commissioner Betsy Wergin. “They are in the jail. I can’t support this.”
Commissioner Arne Engstrom said when they contracted with the hospital for the jail, they didn’t think of the other duties a public nurse conducts.

photos


SHERBURNE COUNTY FAIR BOARD MEMBER Irene Kostreba, pictured here showing a very old poster advertising a Sherwin Linton concert, is still looking for items to display in the county fair history center. Items could be given on loan or donated to the fair board. (Photo by Jennifer Edwards).

FRESH FLAME BURGER serves up fast food with its own flair on Hwy. 10 in Big Lake. Clara Henderson, Kari Luckey and Jamall Whitelaw ordered their food to go from restaurant owner Gus Afrooz. (Photo by Jennifer Edwards).

SHERBURNE COUNTY 4-H’ers got some hands-on experience working at the 4-H foodstand at the fairgrounds Wednesday evening in preparation for the Sherburne County Fair, which starts Wednesday. About 60 kids from six different 4-H clubs learned how to grill burgers, cook fries and hot dogs and serve customers during the orientation event. Above are Big Lakers Katie Olson (left), Kirsten Olson and Taylor Muehlbauer cooking fries and Bailey Muehlbauer (right) getting hamburger buns ready. (Photo by Ken Francis.)

GRAND KNIGHT DENNIS NAGORSKI of the Knights of Columbus presented Big Lake Chief of Police Joel Scharf and Becker Chief of Police Brent Baloun with a donation of prescription drug drop-boxes for each city. Along with marijuana, prescription drugs are often abused because of easy access. Keeping them out of the water system is important to protect the environment. Now our residents have a safe way to dispose of their unwanted or out-dated medications. (Photo by Jennifer Edwards).