Beltrami County Board approves preliminary levy increase of 6.87 percent by a 3-2 vote

The Beltrami County Board of Commissioners approved a preliminary 6.87 percent levy increase in their meeting Tuesday and will fully fund the Kitchigami Regional Library’s three percent increase request.

Commissioner Reed Olson made the motion, expressing his convictions that the Bemidji and Blackduck libraries are invaluable assets in our community.

Commissioner Richard Anderson seconded Olson’s motion, with Commissioner Craig Gaasvig ultimately joining the yes votes after more debate over the regional library system’s surplus and how it is distributed.

Commissioners Tim Sumner and Jim Lucachick voted against the preliminary budget and levy.

The County Board will set the final levy and budget in one of their December meetings.

The 2023 budget can decrease between now and the final budget vote, but it cannot increase.

From County Administrator Tom Barry’s update, the public comment period on the jail project has been extended with the decision on the jail project not expected until Nov. 15.

The county board also signaled that they would hold another public hearing on the subject at their regularly scheduled meetings on Oct. 18.

The first public hearing is tonight at 5 p.m. in the county board room.

The meeting tonight will also be streamed on the county’s YouTube channel.

Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers all the beats in north-central Minnesota, such as local government, crime, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University. You can follow along with Larissa's live tweets of meetings and events on Twitter!

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