Citing a problem with "last-minute allocations", a 22-year veteran of the Buena Vista County Board of Supervisors in special session Monday voted against approval of the fiscal 2006 budget which is posting a 1.3 percent increase in tax asking, or $78,995.
"This is the first time in 22 years I probably won't vote for it," said Supervisor Jim Gustafson.
Gustafson noted "the overall budget was a lot of work," but referring to the secondary roads figures, he said, "These other departments should have had a chance to come in and amend the budget too."
After the rest of the board voted in favor of the budget, with Gustafson voting against, he privately elaborated the reasons for his disapproval.
"My objection is to some of the equipment being purchased," Gustafson said. That included a $180,000 motor grader. Gustafson said the county had bought two other motor graders over the past year or so. Gustafson also objected to purchase of a boom truck for $25,000.
The budget seeks $14,214,542 in expenditures and $14,706,465 in revenues. Big-tickets items include a $550,000 gravel crushing project, new voting equipment, and remodeling the Courthouse ramp to meet Americans With Disabilities Act requirements add up to a 15 percent spending increase.
The good news was an $11.1 million increase in valuation thanks to windfarm development.
If levies had been left the same as fiscal 2005, the new valuation would have given up an extra $48,690 in county revenues.
The urban levy will be up a penny from the current year while the rural level will be down 13.4 cents from the current year.
In another budget-related matter Tuesday, the Board held a public hearing on issuance of $350,000 in Essential Purpose bonds and $50,000 in General Purpose bonds.
The Essential Purpose bonds include:
*$112,000 for voting equipment.
*$32,675 for computers and electronic equipment for various county offices.
*$2,500 for steel cages for the sheriff's office.
*$110,160 for computer software.
*$52,000 for upgrading a Courthouse handicap ramp to meet ADA regulations.
*$40,665 for Courthouse remodeling.
The $50,000 in General Purpose bonds would include $30,000 for a tractor for the Conservation Department and $20,000 for a vehicle for public health.