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Spending cuts to county’s 2019 budget discussed

Walworth County Commissioners Tuesday, Aug. 7, discussed the preliminary budget for 2019 and moves that could reduce costs to the county.
Commissioners discussed increased costs and suggested cuts that could be considered to bring those costs in line with the budget.
Several suggestions to cost reductions included cutting deputy positions in two offices, one in the director of equalization office and one in the register of deeds. A part time employee that would assist in both offices would replace those positions. In the register of deeds office, the open position of deputy would not be filled.
Commissioners also considered cutting back on raises in 2019, to cover increased insurance costs for county employees.
According to Walworth County Assistant Ryan Badten, in the last two years insurance costs have increased by 18.9 percent in 2017 and from 15 to 20 percent in 2018.
It was suggested that Brenda DeToy, who splits time in the extension office and the state attorney’s office cut, her time in extension by eight hours. She will work those eight hours in administering medical billing of the Walworth County Jail.
These are preliminary discussions and no action was taken on the budget. The 2019 budget will be approved in September.
The commissioners approved renting part of the Bestway Traffic building in Mobridge to use as a recycling hub for the Walworth County Landfill. Landfill supervisor Ryan Badten said he is currently working out the details and will release information about the recycling hub when the system is in place.
In other business the Walworth County Commissioners:
• Approved a bid from RP&H Inc., of Reliance to repair damage to two bridges near Hiddenwood State Park, that was caused by the May 17 thunderstorm. RP&H bid $218,262 for repair work to those bridges.
• Approved hiring Dave Ritter of Akaska as a part-time weed supervisor at $17 per hour.
• Heard Walworth County Highway Supervisor Penny Goetz report the work on Swan Creek Road is complete and the work on County Road 319 is going well.
• Set the date of the first meeting in September as Thursday, Sept. 6, because of the Labor Day holiday.
– Katie Zerr –