County supervisors announce budget

BY JUSTIN SUGG | MARCH 3, 2009 7:20 AM

Included in Johnson County’s $84 million budget for fiscal 2009 is the Joint Emergency Communication Center, consolidating county and city emergency services and coordinating them in one facility.

Though construction of the facility will be completed later this summer, it will not be operational until early 2010, Supervisor Chairman Terrence Neuzil said.

The money allocated to build the center will come from the county’s General Supplemental Fund and from a bond for $4.1 million over 10 years.

Equipment for the center will be financed through an $11 million bond, Neuzil said. Financing for the equipment bond will run over 11 years.

The supervisors also reviewed a tax rollback for 2009.

Exasperated whistles met the announcement that residential properties will be taxed in fiscal 2009 at 45.85 percent of their assessed value, while commercial and industrial properties will be taxed at 100 percent.

Iowa City City Councilor Amy Correia, who attended the meeting, said rental properties fall under the commercial assessment and will be taxed at 100 percent as well.

Before opening the floor to public discussion, the supervisors announced its request for a 3 percent, or $19,500, increase to their staff budget — a development that concerned Iowa City resident Roger Anderson.

“What goes into that?” he asked the supervisors. “Is the entire $650,000 split among the board?”
The supervisors replied that the $650,000 staff budget was distributed to more people than just them.

The supervisors also announced they are in discussion with the state Legislature about whether to hire the part-time director of veteran affairs, Leo Baier, as a full-time employee.

The Legislature is asking the supervisors to hire a full-time director, while the supervisors are soliciting an exception to the request in a letter, hoping to keep the current director employed part-time.

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