The Sarpy County Board has approved a $125 million budget for the 2014 fiscal year that keeps the county tax levy the same: 30 cents per $100 of valuation, the same as it's been for 12 years.
The budget is $8.75 million, or 7.5 percent, larger than the fiscal 2013 budget. County officials say a spike in revenue at the county landfill near Springfield allowed them to increase the budget for the expected costs of closing it.
Before passing the budget Tuesday, the board made a handful of changes to a version presented at a public hearing a few weeks ago. In total, the county now plans to hire a dozen new employees this year.
“That's the most in the years I've been on the County Board,” board member Tom Richards of Bellevue said.
The 911 center will get money for four new dispatchers, and the Sarpy County Sheriff's Office will get two new road patrol deputies — but it will delay hiring them until April to minimize the effect on this year's budget.
The Sheriff's Office is taking over warrant entry duty from the dispatchers, so they'll hire a new full-time employee at a cost of about $39,000, plus $2,300 for software and a data terminal.
Sarpy County human resources will get a new employee to help the department comply with the County Civil Service Act and to develop a compensation plan. Public works, the county attorney, Planning Department and pretrial also will see new hires.
» After accounting for successful valuation protests, the county's final property valuation came in $8 million higher than projected, adding about $25,000 in revenue.
» A $750,000 account will pass through a state infrastructure grant to support a new data center north of Springfield. County officials say they should have a development agreement ready next week.
» The board eliminated a $13,500 consulting contract with Mind Mixer of Omaha.
» The budget for renovating the probation annex and drug lab was reduced from $200,000 to $78,000.