The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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January 26, 2013

Supervisors discuss annex funding

CLINTON — Alternative ways of funding the DeWitt Annex building project were discussed during a Friday budget work session.

Although the project was not one of the budgets presented to the board on Friday, the supervisors discussed ideas of funding it.

County Budget Director Jeannine Clark confirmed during the meeting that $800,000 is being taken out of this year’s fund balance for the project.

The board considered the idea of looking into a $1 million cash bond instead of taking the money from the fund balance. County Auditor Eric Van Lancker said they would have to look into it soon if they were to make the upcoming budget deadline.

Supervisor Jill Davisson told the board the Farm Bureau brought up the notion of the county selling its farm in Charlotte. Davisson and Supervisor Brian Schmidt said the almost 170-acre farm could be sold.

The money could then be used to pay the bond, instead of levying taxes.

“When land is selling for $14,500 an acre, are we really doing the taxpayers a favor by hanging on to it,” Davisson said.

Davisson felt that the issue needed to be put off for a formal discussion.

Van Lancker reminded the board that the county is renting the farm to someone for the next two years. Davisson said it could be sold with the lease in place.

Davisson felt it was a complicated issue, because some people like the county farm.

“It’s one of the best farms in the county,” Davisson said.

The board will hear the building maintenance budget at 10 a.m. Thursday. The board has also scheduled a planning meeting with the architect on the DeWitt project at 1 p.m. Feb. 12. The board expects the meeting to last three or four hours.

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