Board of Directors Approves Maximum Tax Amount for County Budget | News, Sports, Jobs

— Photo from the Daily Freeman-Journal by Anne Blankenhship Several kindergarten students, their parents and a few school mascots dropped in at the Hamilton County Supervisors meeting on Tuesday morning to recognize the county’s commitment to its literacy program financial. The program created a college savings account for every kindergarten student in the county. Pictured with supervisors Dan Campidilli, Rick Young and Jerry Kloberdanz are Iowa Central Triton mascot Nicholas Fonken and mom Shelby Fonken, Heidi and Travis Barrick and son Lucas Barrick, Steve Peppel and daughter Gertzie Peppel, and Hector the South Hamilton Hawk. and

The Hamilton County Board of Supervisors held a public hearing on the property tax cap for fiscal year 2023 during Tuesday’s regular council session. Supervisors voted to set the dollar cap at 3.95%.

County Auditor Kim Schaa said the increases this year resulted from increases in taxable assessments as well as operating costs, payroll and insurance costs.

“The 3.95 can be lowered but it cannot be raised”, Schaa told the council.

“We were at 4%” President Rick Young said:” and we are gradually trying to reduce this, with caution. Our goal is to bring that number down to 3.5 by one day.

Council voted by resolution to set the maximum property tax amount at 3.95 for the general fund.

Supervisors also posed for a group photo with kindergarten students, their parents and a few school mascots who dropped by the meeting.

“Hamilton County is proud to support a kindergarten savings plan. These children are the future of our county,” said Young. Hector the Hawk of South Hamilton and Mr. Triton, the Iowa Central mascot, joined in the photo with the children.

In 2018, the Financial Literacy Council of Greater Hamilton County announced the launch of the Availa Kares College Savings Program, the first such countywide program in the country. Availa Bank was named the program’s lead sponsor and initially funded each student’s 529 College plan with $75. Hamilton County supervisors voted to add an additional $25 to each account, using local option sales tax funds.

In other business, the council has set a public hearing on the county’s fiscal year 2023 budget for Tuesday, March 23 at 9 a.m., the next regular council meeting.

The board also approved an immediate action plan. Director of Emergency Management Tim Zahn said the action plan was a quick reference for employees on how to handle various situations, such as an active shooter situation, bomb threats, tornadoes, fires and other events.

“It will be live for employees once it is approved,” Zahn said. He added that the security committee reviewed the document and approved it.

Zahn also reminded the board that the week of March 21-26 is Severe Weather Awareness Week and the statewide tornado drill is scheduled for March 23.

“With what we’ve seen in Madison County over the past few days, it’s important to plan for these events,” Zahn said.

The board approved a resolution allocating more than $2.8 million to American Rescue Plan Act funds. Funds will be used to purchase and install playground equipment at Briggs Woods Park, Little Wall Lake Park and Bells Mill Park, not to exceed $245,000; a shower and septic tank at Little Wall Lake Campgrounds, not to exceed $270,000; New Irrigation Pump and Control House for Briggs Woods Golf Course, not exceeding $290.00; awarding premium pay to all eligible Hamilton County Public Health employees for hours worked from March 2020 through December 31, 2021, not to exceed $120,000; purchase and install landscaping for the social services/mental health building, up to $50,000.

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