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Commission approves 2% levy limit increase for 2023 budgets

The Stutsman County Commission met Tuesday, May 17.

JSSP Stutsman County News
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JAMESTOWN – The Stutsman County Commission unanimously approved on Tuesday, May 17, a 2% levy limit increase for agencies outside the county for their 2023 budgets.

The county will notify all outside agencies, which include Jamestown Regional Airport, the James River Valley Library System and Stutsman County Soil Conservation District, that the increase will not necessarily be granted.

Jessica Alonge, Stutsman County auditor/chief operating officer, said no increases to the levy limit were approved in 2021 or 2020. The commission approved a 2% increase in 2019 for the 2020 budget and a 3% increase in 2015 for the 2016 budget and in 2016 for the 2017 budget. No increases were approved in 2017 or 2018.

Commissioner Ramone Gumke said he suspects a fair amount of the agencies will need to make some sort of increase to their budgets.

“Costs, everything, increased substantially,” he said. “Even if we put it out there that they are allowed x number of percent I think there needs to be a justification or at least talk to that.”

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He said knowing the taxable value increase percentage helps as well.

“The 2% increase for the year may just simply be because of a taxable value increase,” he said.

Once the preliminary budget is set between Aug. 10 and Oct. 10, the budget cannot be increased but can be decreased.

In other business, the county commission unanimously approved:

  • increasing wages of poll workers from $12 per hour to $15 per hour. Gumke said the issue should be revisited every couple of years so the county does not fall behind in the wages. 
  • an information technology infrastructure upgrade. Upgrades include improving the county’s network structure from 1 gigabyte to 10 gigabytes, creating a virtual cluster and backup domain controller servers to decrease the amount of down time if there are issues with the server, getting immutable backup protection to decrease the chances of a ransomware attack and multimedia storage upgrades. The project is estimate at $95,000.
Masaki Ova joined The Jamestown Sun in August 2021 as a reporter. He grew up on a farm near Pingree, N.D. He majored in communications at the University of Jamestown, N.D.
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