Commissioners favor 2-mill tax hike for roads

? They also favor hiring three experienced road and bridge workers to address current need.

All three members of the Marion County Board of Commissioners said at the Friday, July 31, payday meeting that they will favor at least a two-mill budget increase for 2016 to improve county roads.

With this, they are still looking at hiring three experienced road and bridge workers.

Budget Consultant Scot Loyd estimated such an increase would raise property taxes on a $100,000 home $11.50 per mill per year, or $23 annually.

Nothing is settled because Loyd is in the process of working on the next budget.

Commissioner Randy Dallke said he would also like to try using some of the rock quarried at Ottawa that some patrons contend would improve roads here.

Commission Chairman Dan Holub said the situation could also be helped when the county receives a still unknown amount of money from Federal Emergency Management Agency funds to address flood-damage expenses this year.

Commissioner Lori Lalouette said providing funding for more road graders or other equipment for the 17 of 24 townships with road funds would just cost more money to add to county budget problems. Although it was necessary for moving blacktop projects ahead, all three commissioners said they never want to repeat pulling area road grader operators off their locations to join surfacing crew like they did this year.

As part of the budgeting, the Dallke and Holub approved $7,500 pay raises for elected personnel and 2 percent pay raises for other employees. Lalouette voted against the proposal.

County Clerk Tina Spen?cer announced a payday figure of $1,105,162.96. Regular sales tax received at the end of July was $53,360.59 and the special jail bond sales tax generated $46,561.67.

The commissioners awarded a road and bridge area fuel bid of $9,148 for 5,300 gallons of diesel to Cooperative Grain & Supply of Hillsboro over a competitive bid of $9,271.60 from Cardie Oil Inc. of Tampa.

They awarded a road and bridge transport fuel bid of $15,106 for 3,500 gallons of No. 2 clear diesel, 1,500 gallons of No. 2 dyed diesel and 3,000 gallons of unleaded gasoline to CG&S over a competitive bid of $15,270.50 from Cardie Oil.

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