Isanti County Commissioners approve preliminary levy

The preliminary 2022 budget and levy were adopted by the Isanti County Board of Commissioners at its Sept. 14 meeting.

The preliminary levy is set at approximately $26.1 million, which is just under $2 million over their 2021 final levy. This represents an approximately 7.4% increase over last year. The preliminary budget is set at approximately $53.5 million.

At the Sept. 1 meeting, Finance Director Kelsey Lakeberg informed the board how the budget committee had come to those numbers, which were $26.6 million and $53.7 million, respectfully, at that time. 

“Over the last month, the committee has met several times to evaluate the requests and identify opportunities to reduce the levy where available,” Lakeberg said. “It should be noted the budget committee had reduced the levy and budget from $26.6 million and $53.7 million when it first started meeting. 

“This draft budget includes capital outlay of approximately $885,000 in expenditures,” Lakeberg continued. “That number is pretty much right in line with where we need to be in terms of capital outlay needs based off of historical and projected numbers.”

This preliminary budget includes reclassification of two county positions, one being a customer service supervisor and another being a project manager. It also includes four additional positions – a custodian, two IT personnel, and an environmental health specialist. 

“The budget committee has also preliminarily budgeted $325,000 as a place holder for potential budgetary impacts that the compensation study results may indicate,” said Lakeberg. The compensation study is expected to be complete this month. 

An additional $200,000 was budgeted as a contingency for potential expenditures from ongoing county projects. 

Two organizations that receive appropriations from the county requested an increase for 2022. The East Central Regional Library asked for an additional $25,000, and the Soil and Water Conservation District asked for an additional $28,000. 

Following approval of the preliminary budget and levy, the board set the truth in taxation hearing for Dec. 1 at 6 p.m. At that time, the county will present its final 2022 budget and levy. The final levy can be lower than the preliminary levy, however it cannot exceed it. 

It also approved the 2022 proposed levy and special assessments for the Lake Improvement District.

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