‘Sticker shock’: Communications center among topics of discussion at budget meeting

MADISON, Neb. -- The Madison County Commissioners discussed an outline of what the budget of the 2021-22 fiscal year will look like for the county on Tuesday.

While the budget has not been finalized, the meeting gave an opportunity for the commissioners to review past budgets of county organizations and make an outline based on that information. 

"So today we set our schedule as far as how our timeline will go for the budget," Madison County Commissioner Chair of Board Troy Uhlir said. "September 14, we have the overall hearing at 1 o'clock for the finalized budget for any public comment. Today we were very high-level overlooking expenditures from last year, proposed expenditures from this year. we're looking pretty good as far as needed funds. We have not put together a final number on capital acquisitions or capital expenses, so the electrical upgrade and phone upgrade-some of those things. That will cause some increase, without that in was at only a 0.5% increase from last year's budget." 

One of the larger projects budgets for this year includes moving the Madison County communications center to Norfolk. The movement of equipment and renovations which will take place will be a "Sticker shock" according to Uhlir, but ultimately in the long run will save money. While the cost of removal and renovations was not given, Uhlir said keeping the communications center in Madison would cost "a Quarter to half a million dollars." 

Uhlir also says that "From a tax standpoint I'm pretty confident we're not going to see a tax increase. Looking to hopefully be the same ask if we can." 

Madison County will spend the rest of the month editing and finalizing the budget for the public presentation on September 14. That meeting will take place at 1 pm and will be adopted following community feedback and must be submitted on September, 20.

A drafted version of the budget is currently unavailable, but News Channel Nebraska will continue to provide budget updates as they arrive.