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By DAVID CAMPHOUSE
Over the course of two meetings – on Monday, Nov. 22, and Monday, Nov. 29 – the Pike County board accepted the resignation of Vice-Chairman Rodger Hannel and passed the year’s budget and tax levy.
At the Monday, Nov. 22, meeting, board Chairman Jim Sheppard and the board officially recognized that Hannel had given notice of his resignation. Hannel has been battling ongoing health issues.
Sheppard credited Hannel for his service on the board and complimented Hannel for his skills as a public servant.
“I have a tremendous amount of respect for Rodger,” Sheppard said. “He is much more diplomatic and well-spoken than I am.”
Sheppard will await the nomination of three candidates to fill the vacated seat, which will be provided by Pike County Republican Chairman John Birch.
Once Sheppard receives the list of nominees, he will have up to 60 days to recommend one of the nominees as a board member. The county board will then vote to approve Sheppard’s recommendation.
Board member Mark Sprague accepted an appointment to the board’s finance committee, in order to fill the seat on the committee vacated by Hannel.
Because two-thirds of the total board was not present at the Nov. 22 meeting – with Birch, Hannel, Derek Ross and Mark Mountain absent – action to approve the 2022 budget and tax levy was tabled until a special meeting scheduled for Nov. 29.
At the Nov. 22 meeting, the board approved altering the landfill distribution fees, raising the amount of the fees being paid to the county highway department to 25 percent.
A resolution for an anticipation note, up to 85 percent of the county’s tax levy, was also approved. Farmers State Bank was awarded the bid for the loan, which is not to exceed $970,500. The bank quoted an interest rate for the loan of 1.23 percent.
Also approved was a quit claim deed for a property on Griggsville’s Corey Street.
The board went on to authorize the county and township motor fuel tax programs.
A four percent pay increase was approved for county engineer Chris Johnson, however Tom Lewis voted in opposition and Mark Sprague didn’t vote on the increase.
At the special Monday, Nov. 29, meeting of the county board, with only Mark Mountain and Rodger Hannel absent – the board passed the 2022 budget, 2022 budget amendments and the tax levy unanimously.
According to Sheppard, the county’s approximately $5.6 million 2022 budget is balanced.
Because the county’s population fell below 15,000 residents as of the last census, state statute allows the tax levy to be raised from .0027 to .0037. The board approved the levy increase allowed by the state statute.
Sheppard, however, said that tax payers will not feel an impact from the levy increase, as the $305,000 increase in the tax levy will be offset by the county not paying for the reinsurance portion of its health insurance premium out of the tort immunity fund.
“It’s pretty much a wash,” Sheppard said. “The net effect is that if the EAV (equalized assessed value) on your property stays the same, your property tax bill will be lower.”