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Lafayette County to hold budget hearing on November 10
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The Lafayette County Board of Supervisors will hold the 2016 budget hearing on Tuesday, Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. to be followed by their monthly meeting, at which the board will vote on the budget.
    The 2016 budget outlines a total tax levy of $7,274,910 (compared to $7,105,698 for 2015) with a levy mill rate of $6.941 per $1,000, which is a decrease of 1.28% from the 2015 mill rate.
    The 2016 budget also includes debt service $2,130,000 of anticipated new debt to fund several projects in 2015/2016 including the following: County K building purchase - $398,714; Department of Corrections remodel - $112,967; Communication tower - $573,279; County K building improvements - $450,000; Sheriff’s department system software - $195,040 and Highway equipment - $400,000.
    The outstanding general obligations debt estimated as of Dec. 31, 2016 will be $3,136,000.
    A two percent cost of living adjustment was also included in each department’s budget for the 2016 budget, however this adjustment was absorbed through decreases in expenditures or increases in revenues and did not result in any increases for the department’s requested levy.
    Some of the department tax levy changes that were greater than $50,000 from the last year were highlighted by finance director, Nicola Maurer at the last county board meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 20 and included the following:
    The suspension of the Memorial Hospital of Lafayette County’s typical transfer back to the general fund. Generally the hospital transfers an amount ($236,811 in 2015) back into the county’s general funds. That transfer was not included in the 2016 budget, due to hospital expenses being up by $20,000 and revenues being down by $308,000 due to an increase in allowances from 35% to 43%.
    A $130,326 decrease from the 2015 levy request for Lafayette Manor, which was $429,211. The 2016 levy request for the manor is $298,885. The decrease was attributed to an increase in the resident census; an $85,000 decrease in fringe costs; overall expenditure decrease of $20,000 and overall revenue increase of $110,000.
    A $56,114 decrease from the 2015 levy request for Property/Courthouse Maintenance, which was $319,593. The 2016 levy request for that department is $263,479, and the decrease was attributed to savings from switching to Faherty, replacing light bulbs, rental income of $60,160 and the reduction of $27,000 for tuckpointing in last year’s budget.
    A $189,795 increase from the 2015 levy request for Debt Service, which was $120,132. This year’s levy request for that fund is $309,927 and is due to the $2.2 million of borrowing for 2015/2016 capital projects.