Rural taxes rise under budget approved by Woodbury County supervisors
Woodbury County's budget cuts could close the doors of the mental health court and Friendship House on July 1.
Woodbury County leaders have approved deep cuts to their budget. Overall, the county is slashing about $3.4 million from its budget for fiscal year 2014. The cuts take effect on July 1.
Taxes are also going up, but not for everyone. Residents living in cities and towns will watch their property tax levy drop, but the tax levy in rural areas will go up thanks to a series of renovations, and construction on 15 bridges in county.
"So, we can do 15 bridges like we'd normally do over five years, and we'll do an additional 15 over the next five years. We have 67 bridges that are not in very good shape and should be embargoed or closed. So, this'll make a big dent in it," said Dennis Butler, operations/finance controller for Woodbury County.
Mental health services took one of the biggest hits during the budget process, losing more than $650,000.
Programs like Friendship House and the Mental Health Court could close their doors because of the cuts.
Some supervisors are still optimistic that they'll be able to get state dollars to help backfill and keep the programs going, but others aren't so sure.
In approving the budget, supervisors also gave themselves a raise in pay. They'll get 2 percent more in the next fiscal year.
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