County Supervisors Discuss Budgets During Morning Meeting

While it may have been a short agenda for the Custer County Supervisors on Tuesday, August 10, the meeting went into the lunch hour as the Supervisors welcomed Dana Cole’s Bob Beran to the meeting to review the county budget. No final numbers were available, due to certain line items not being completed.

The Supervisors also approved a 1% increase in the restricted funds authority which will raise the total to 3½%. They also approved supporting the Sargent Airport Authority jointly with the City of Sargent. The Supervisors agreed to a limit of $2,500 which has been consistent over the past few years.

Also approved was the signing of the annual certification of program compliance to the Nebraska Board of Public Roads Classifications and Standards and the county office inventories.

Briefly discussed during the budget review was how much money to have saved in the inheritance tax fund. District 5 Supervisor Don Olson said he does not want to much money in the fund in the event there was another disaster and the state would not allow funds to the county because of the extra money. District 3 Supervisor Barry Fox echoed the statement and said he would feel comfortable with $1.5M-$2M in the fund to allow the county to continue to operate if something were to happen.

County Attorney Steve Bowers noted he had heard the rule of thumb was to have enough money in the reserve to be able to operate for six months. District 2 Supervisor Tammy Kleeb said Custer County was one of the few counties in the state that had a decent size reserve of money and there were neighboring counties that choose to use all of their reserves by the end of the year. She said for some counties this has created stress on if they would be able to pay bills, a position that Custer County has been in before.

“I don’t want that to happen ever again,” said Supervisor Kleeb.

Most recently, the Supervisors had transferred money from the inheritance tax fund to the County Roads Department following the 2019 flooding when it was clear the budget would be exceeded.