By Steve Peterson
Plymouth County Board of Supervisors held their annual public hearing on the county’s 2013-2014 budget March 5.
The budget’s revenue and other financing sources total $27,745,451. Its expenditures total $27,852,962. The county-wide levies will be per $1,000 of taxable valuation, 3.97451 in urban areas and 7.92451 in rural areas.
In other county business:
• A bid letting for the concrete overlay improvement project in the Merrill area this summer was held.
The winning bid was awarded to Cedar Valley Construction of Waterloo for $3,186,832.45 by a 4-0 supervisors’ vote.
The area to be done is County Road C-38 from County Road K-42 north from Brunsville; and east to Key Avenue, from County Road K-42 from County Road C-38 south to north of the Merrill city limits and in Merrill on Fifth Street.
Plymouth County Energy, the ethanol facility and Plymouth County Oil Company, a corn processor, are in the area. The concrete overlay is 4.75 miles which will be paid for by the ethanol plant’s TIF (Tax Increment Finance) district.
“Cedar Valley has done a lot of work in western Iowa. They also won the Highway 75 improvement project,” said County Engineer Tom Rohe, noting they did the County Road C-60 project recently as well.
Knife River was the other bidder for the county projects in Merrill with a bid of $3,285,276.
Rohe said the county work will take all summer to do.
“I’m confident it will be done well. The people of Merrill are excited about the needed improvements,” said Supervisor Craig Anderson of Merrill.
• Heard a report from Iowa State Association of Counties (ISAC) Group Health Program for Fiscal Year 2012 from Amanda Baker of Wellmark.
Plymouth County’s health group plan had an income of $1,389,877 while expenses were $1,280,764 for a difference of $109,112. The county’s user rate was 0.92, compared to the ISAC user rate of 1.01.
The 2014 ISAC Group health program recommendations adopted by ISAC Board of Directors were: approve recommended base rates with income increase of 5.59 percent; and adopt discount proposal with loss of discount limited to 5 percent per year.
Plymouth County’s plan had a loss of $608,432 in FY 2012.
• Plymouth County supervisors meet at 9:30 a.m. Tuesdays at the Plymouth County Courthouse, first floor board room, at 215 4th Ave. SE, Le Mars. Meetings are open to the public.