(Tuesday - December 29, 2020) - The Dickinson County Board of Commissioners on Monday approved a general fund budget for the County, calling for $9,895,730.00 in spending.

The budget is more than balanced, and brings the County's reserve fund to 47% of general fund expenditures, up from 20% several years ago.

The County will levy a property tax rate of 6.1403 mils for County operation, 1.0 mils for Bay West College, .4200 mils for the Dickinson Iron District Health Department, .400 mils for senior citizen activities, .500 mils for the County Road Commission, .10 mils for veterans, and .10 mils for medical care access.

County Controller/Administrator Brian Bousley said the 2021 budget represents a 1.5% increase over the 2020 budget. The general fund budget covers funds directly connected to the operation of the County, and does not include funds for other operations controlled by the County Board, such as the County-owned Ford Airport.

Dale Alessandrini, of Iron Mountain, addressed the Board, critical of the amount being held in reserve. Alessandrini said that rather than building up a huge reserve fund, the County Board should be directly funding operations such as the 911 Emergency Dispatch Center, rather than collecting additional millage from taxpayers.

The County Controller said that the reserve fund is necessary for several reasons, among them the fact that revenues from outside sources are expected to fall in 2021, and the County may have to dig into those reserve fund. Controller Bousley reminded that the County is dealing with a building that is more than 100 years old, and that capital improvement funds will likely have to be drawn from those reserves, if needed for the Courthouse, or if unexpected Capital outlays should occur elsewhere.

The reserve fund is sometimes referred to as a "rainy day fund," insuring that government can continue to operate even in the event of a drastic reduction in income.

The budget resolution was approved unanimously by the Board.


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