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Observer/Advocate
P.O. Box 429
Mt. Lake, MN 56159
Phone: 507-427-2725
Fax: 507-427-2724


’Tis the season to be number-crunching.

At least that is how area city, county and school boards look at things. In the next two weeks boards all across Minnesota will finetune budgets and set final levies.

Here is a quick look at what lies ahead for area government leaders.

Cottonwood County

• 2014 levy: $8,191,154.

• Change from 2013: Up 3.04 percent.

• Key capital outlay items: Hardware and software for information technology upgrades, roughly $65,000. Also, payments on a new compactor for the landfill.

• Financial summary of 2014 revenue and expenses: “Most everything was on track,” said County Auditor Jan Johnson. “There were no catastrophic events. “One surprise on the revenue side was the state provided an invasive species grant which resulted in an additional $27,000.”

• Preliminary levy for 2015: $8,846,451, an 8 percent increase.

• Financial summary for 2015: There will be ongoing IT upgrades, replacing vehicles in the sheriff ’s department and highway department and possibly a new caterpillar for the landfill. Salary adjustments are under consideration and

the county may see a decrease in the highway budget to help cover those adjustments.

• Truth in Taxation hearing date: Dec. 16 in the commissioners room.

• Final budget and levy approval date: Dec. 16. Watonwan County

• 2014 levy: $7,893,286.

• Change from 2013: Up from $7,494,316.

• Key capital outlay items: None.

• Financial summary of 2014 revenue and expenses:



Watonwan County faced significant belttightening in 2014 after losing $313,940 in state program aid.

• Preliminary levy for 2015: $8,366,883.

• Financial summary for 2015: “We have eliminated all equipment purchases and are still using part of our fund balance,” said County Auditor Donald Kuhlman said.

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