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Lincoln County Commissioners OK preliminary budget

by SCOTT SHINDLEDECKER
The Western News | July 29, 2022 7:00 AM

The Lincoln County Commissioners recently approved a preliminary budget for the new fiscal year.

At a meeting earlier this month, a $11.2 million budget was passed. A final budget will be passed after a public hearing is held. Fiscal year 2022-23 began on July 1.

According to resolutions passed on July 6, base salaries for commissioner and sheriff are set at $61,439.29 while clerk and recorder, treasurer and clerk of court salaries are set at $59,439.29.

For the county coroner, it is set at $17,831.79, and the deputy coroner is at $5,349.54. The county is on the hook for a share of the county attorney’s salary at $59,439.29 while the state kicks in another $60,640.

The justice of the peace base salary is $59,439.29.

Also, after the IRS increased the mileage rate for the final six months of 2022 four cents to 62.5 cents per mile, the county followed suit.

The county is waiting on the state Department of Revenue to send it the final mill value and number of mills they are allowed levy until early August.

The final budget should be approved in late August or early September.

In other business:

  • The commissioners approved an agreement with Suzy Rios to be the county Superintendent of Schools on a contract basis through the end of 2022. Taralee McFadden, who was appointed to the position in June 2021, resigned after declaring her candidacy for the position in March. Rios will be paid $2,000 per month.

  • The commissioners are working to see if Troy and Eureka want to join Libby on the marijuana tax proposal.

  • A bid is going out for drilling for the county landfill expansion project. Drilling work has been approved by the state.

According to a previous story, officials sped up the timeline to increase the landfill’s size after an influx of waste in recent years. The initial phase of the project is expected to cost roughly $5.79 million.

Great West Engineering was chosen by the commissioners to aid in the planning and permitting steps of the expansion project. The process likely will take more than a year.

  • County Library Director Alyssa Ramirez reported that the total circulation for the recently completed fiscal year was 70,387, a substantial increase from the previous year as COVID-19 put a damper on visitation. She also said there were 731 new memberships/registrations over the last year.

Ramirez also reported that since Ethan Hoff was hired to be the technology specialist with American Recovery Plan Act money, all library buildings were rewired with new computers and equipment in the Eureka and Troy branches.

Troy branch Librarian Sharee Miller reported on efforts to transform it into the Troy Library and Opportunity Center to access services and resources which will improve health outcomes for people in Troy, Bull River, Yaak and other remote areas.