Final County Budget Hearing Set For September 14; 3.25% Increase To Budget

CUSTER COUNTY— The Custer County Board of Supervisors have nearly reached the final stage of the budget after Tuesday’s meeting where they agreed to publish the revised budget before the final hearing in September.

In the past few weeks, the Supervisors have been looking for ways to bring the budget down from what would have been an over 6% increase. District 5 Supervisor Don Olson stated that all budgets were looked at, but in the end they were able to decrease the Custer County Highway budget by approximately $200,000. This reduction lowered the overall increase in the county budget to 3.25%.

District 4 Supervisor Dwain Bryner said, “I would like to cut more from the budget, but we have to be realistic and the roads need to be maintained.”

The budget will now be published and a public hearing on the final budget will be held at 1 PM on September 14.

Custer County Ag Society Administrator Michelle Nelson and board President Kent Nelson stopped in to recap the 2020-21 fiscal year and to also ask for an increase in funds. Michelle informed the Supervisors that the board is continually working to become more self-sufficient and would likely finish the year with a profit of $73,000.

While exciting, Kent said there are plenty of issues still to be dealt with at the fairgrounds that had been put off by previous boards including the teardown and possible replacement of Ag Hall, evaluating the use of two cattle barns, safety hazards in the shop building, non-ADA compliance for the grandstands, and other electrical upgrades.

While the Ag Society asked for a 2.5% increase in their budget, which would bring their asking up to $177,735, the Supervisors unanimously agreed to keep the budget the same as the previous two years at $173,400. While he voted to keep the budget the same as the previous years, District 1 Supervisor Bobby Myers praised the work that Kent and Michelle have been doing to keep the budget within reach and not overspend.

Other approvals by the Supervisors included the preliminary levy allocation requests, Custer County Historical Society and Seven Valleys Historical Society requests, and the closure of the Cozad-Callaway Road for the half-mile/mile shootout on August 12, 2022 and the Arnold-Dunning Road for S.O.R.C. on August 13, 2022.