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CR 200N will be paid with Major Moves

CR 200N improvements will be paid for with Major Moves dollars that will be repaid to the fund with Economic Development Income Tax (EDIT) dollars. This procedural move will save the county between $150,000 and $200,000, according to numbers presented at the Monday joint meeting of the county commissioners and council.

County Surveyor Rex Pranger presented a proposal to the group outlining a plan for such a measure. As approved, EDIT will pay 1 percent annual interest on the unpaid balance of the loan every year for 10 years or until the loan is retired. Currently the EDIT fund is receiving about $91,000 each month.

A previous action would have had the county issue a seven-year bond issue for up to $2 million with the balance of the estimated $2.7 million project coming from EDIT funds. County Attorney Kurt Bachman told the assembly that current bond interest rates on issues of this nature are running 2.5 to 3 percent.

“A couple of hundred thousand dollars is quite a bit of money,” Pranger said. “With the money we have in the bank and the interest we are collecting, it just makes sense to borrow money from ourselves rather than in the marketplace.”

The motions needed to arrive at this decision passed unanimously.

County council also formally approved a 10-year tax abatement on real estate improvements, personal property and technology equipment for Exo-S. The approval to waive formality was passed at the April 14 meeting.

Council and commissioners also approved participation in the necessary equipment to provide a fire suppression system for Exo-S. The firm will need to install a 20-inch well and storage facility to appease a fire insurance company. The project of providing a $1.2 million water tower on the property has been nixed by fire insurance since the tower would not have been a private tower as opposed to being in the loop of a public water system.

A 25/75 percent split of the cost of the new well was proposed and unanimously approved 10-0. The county portion of the $356,000 cost will be $267,000 and will come from Major Moves funds.

County commissioners approved an ordinance recommending a minimum $10 per year surtax on motor scooters of less than 50cc. County council will hold a public hearing and consider an ordinance to adopt the new tax at their June 9 meeting. A new state law will become effective January 1, 2015, regarding motor scooters that provides for the tax, insurance, license, tags and other regulations.

Council also voted unanimously to approve $10,500 plus expenses for a firm to update the county pay matrix. A meeting of department heads earlier this month prompted this action. Department heads were quite vocal about the need to have this service performed, according to members of the council who attended the meeting.

 This year the firm is to include department heads and elected officials in their study.

In 2009, there was discussion regarding the matrix that was developed. There were positions that were $7,000 to $10,000 below the recommended salary levels. A $3,500 addition was made to those posts without any further adjustment, although there had been agreement to adjust each year until the matrix was in place.

Others positions were as much as $2,000 over the recommended pay. There were no decreases in wages and those people have continued to receive increases each year when raises were granted.

Council also approved a salary ordinance amendment that will increase the wages of a part-time building inspector from $9.27 per hour to $11.50 an hour. A full-time building inspector is being paid $18.12 per hour. Also increased were some drivers at the county highway department that will move up to $17.18 an hour.