The Administration committee approved a budget proposal for 2020 on Monday morning. A number of department budgets were approved and there was lengthy discussion on a number of line items.
There is still time for changes to the budget before the public hearing held in November.
Major improvements for the court room were approved including new video conference, sound system and remodeling the front office. The front office and customer service window updates are to help with accessibility for the public and security for the county employees. The video conference and sound system updates are scheduled to cost $56,500 and the window remodel will cost around $18,500.
There was discussion on contributions to a number of programs and if the county will continue to help certain organizations financially.
County Administrator Nate Ehalt told the Administration committee they will be cutting all funding to Restorative Justice and will be cutting back on funding for the local senior centers.
Funding in 2019 to the four senior centers was $14,250 and for 2020 that will be cut down to $10,000. Ehalt said he has spoken with all the senior centers and held a meeting earlier in the summer to explain the changes.
The 2020 budget also cuts all funding to the pair of county fairs the County Board of Supervisors helps annually. The Central Burnett County Fair held in Webster and the Burnett County Agricultural Fair both received $3,000 in 2019 and are set to receive $0 in 2020.
Supervisor Don Chell said the money that Grantsburg receives for the Ag Fair goes to prize money for the 4-H kids.
“The fair needs the money we give them,” Chell added.
Supervisor Jeremy Gronski told the board he has had issues getting a report on the Ag Fair from it’s organizers.
“It’s been difficult getting any type of report from them on what they use the money for and if they need it still,” Gronski said.
Chell said he would compile reports for the Ag Fair and have them submitted for next month.
The Administration committee will revisit funding the county fairs next month after they reach out to both fair boards to get reports from them.