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County Board approves 2015 budget
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Delete - MergeThe Lafayette County Board of Supervisors approved the 2015 county budget as presented during their meeting held after the budget hearing on Monday, Nov. 10.
    During the public hearing on the proposed budget held at 7 p.m. there were many members of the public present, several of whom spoke on the actions of the finance committee when making decisions about the Lafayette County Health Department’s budget and funding for the home care program.
    During the budgeting process the finance committee decided to cut all funding designated for home care within the health department budget, but then changed their minds during a joint meeting between the finance committee and board of health, and decided to approve an additional $60,000 levy request for the health department budget to go towards home care, if the health department consented to cut one full time position.
    Annie Timmerman, a public health nurse, asked why the finance committee did not utilize the knowledge and experience of actual health department employees when looking into the functions of the health department and home care program during the process.
    Timmerman also wanted to know why a joint meeting between the finance committee and health board was not scheduled before the finance committee made the initial decision not to fund the home care program, rather than after.
    Other members of the public encouraged the finance committee and county board to try to begin considering budget issues before budget time with more foresight and planning, rather than just having to cut an entire program when it gets down to the wire, and possibly look at a referendum as a last resort, rather than making the decision to cut all funding to a program without going to the citizens of the county.
    During the regular meetng, held after the budget hearing, supervisor Dwayne Larson proposed a motion that would borrow an additional $50,000 in order to give more funding to home care, without changing the levy request. Leon Wolfe seconded the motion, which failed in a vote of 11-4.
    Before the vote it was also pointed out by finance director Nicola Maurer that what the county would borrow the additional funds against would need to be specified, although at the time of the motion, nothing was specified.
    The proposed 2015 budget and tax levy was then approved in a vote of 12-3, within the budget a total of $7,105,690 will be levied for 2015.