By Samantha Pidde
Herald Staff Writer
A reduction in allocations to the county’s Emergency Management department is the first step taken by the Clinton County Board of Supervisors in response to the Archer Daniels Midland property assessment settlement.
“We knew the ADM settlement would obviously have an affect on us,” County Auditor Eric Van Lancker said at the board meeting Monday.
In a settlement entered into on May 9, ADM was awarded more than $2.5 million in tax credits in relation to a tax dispute between the company and the City of Clinton Board of Review. This will result in a loss of projected property tax dollars for Clinton County, the city of Clinton and the Clinton School District. Van Lancker said the county will fortunately not be affected as badly as the other entities.
“We thought it was important that we need to look at that amount, address it, acknowledge it and have you folks tell us exactly how you do want us to handle that,” Van Lancker said.
The county is looking at making up $517,245. Van Lancker pointed out this includes a few other costs besides the ADM settlement.
Van Lancker referenced a handout, generated by County Budget Director Jeannine Clark, that outlined possible reductions the county could make in allocations. This included $1,747 to the Pioneer Cemetery, $46,598 to Emergency Management and $8,804 to the Secondary Roads Department.
Supervisor Brian Schmidt spoke with Emergency Management Coordinator Chance Kness and told the board that the department could absorb the reduction. The board agreed money could not be spared from the roads department and the cemetery. Supervisor Jill Davisson made the motion to reduce the allocation to Emergency Management.
“Thankfully our fund balances are in very good shape,” Van Lancker said about other possible ways of handling the cost. “Not that it would be my favorite option, but we could probably just absorb that from fund balances.”
The board will revisit the issue in November or December.