Scott County's New Budget
With plenty of time to spare, Scott County has completed its budget for next year. The county board has held a public hearing and given its final approval for the 89 million dollar spending plan well ahead of the state's March 15th deadline.
Budget Director David Farmer says the property tax rate will go up for both urban and rural residents, and the main reason is to increase spending for mental health services.
"Mental health services used to be at 3.2 million dollars per year, for fiscal 19 we're up to 4.1 million dollars, and for fiscal 20 we're up to 5.3 million dollars."
Scott County is a partner with four others in the Eastern Iowa Mental Health Region.
The urban rate will increse 17 cents to $5.99 per 1,000 dollars taxable value, and the rate for rural property will go up 16 cents to $8.91.
Farmer says there's also money in the capital projects budget for a major renovation of West Lake Park.
"We have a significant grant from the state to pick up 75 % of the cost over the next couple of years for West Lake where they'll actually dredge the lake and rebuild the banks and so forth."
The new budget includes several new positions, including a sex registry officer for the Scott County Sheriff's Department, and the board promised to pay for a staffing study of the sheriff's department and the county attorney's office.
Iowa requires local governments to submit their budgets by March 15th each year, with a deadline of April 15th for school districts.