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County levy may go up 2.97 percent

Increase covers school resource officer, additional deputy for sheriff
Mavis Fodness

The county is seeking an additional $188,264 for its 2022 budget. Commissioners set a preliminary 2022 property tax levy increase of 2.97 percent at their Sept. 21 meeting.
The amount will increase the local levy to $6.5 million of a $12.5 million budget planned for next year.
Cost of the new school resource officer is estimated at $35,000, with the school districts of Luverne and Hills-Beaver Creek and the city of Luverne contributing to the full-time officer, whose salary, equipment and vehicle are estimated at $100,000.
The position is expected to implemented next year.
The commissioners also approved $65,000 to hire an additional full-time officer with the city of Luverne, again contributing to the estimated $100,000 cost.
The additional officer is in response to upcoming retirements from the sheriff’s office in the next few years, according to Commissioner Greg Berger, who serves on the county’s budget committee.
Commissioners are also contributing an additional $15,500 to the three ambulance service districts in the county. The services include Jasper, Edgerton and Rock County ambulances.
Commissioners will adopt the final levy in December. A Truth-in-Taxation meeting will be in December in the county courthouse commissioners room.
In other business Sept. 21, the commissioners:
•granted a $10,000 request from the Luv1LuvAll coalition in support of a twice-a-month dental clinic in Luverne.
•finalized plans to make $100,000 available to each of the six small communities in Rock County to upgrade water and sanitary sewer infrastructures. Cities include Luverne, Hills, Beaver Creek, Hardwick, Kenneth, Magnolia and Steen. No match is necessary for the communities to access the American Rescue Plan funds allocated to the county by the federal government.
They also agreed to allocate $100,000 to each of the rural water systems serving Rock County.

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