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Letter to the Editor (Sun)

To the Editor:

In February the board held their first work session. The plan is to hold two regular meetings per month on the first and third Tuesdays and a work session on the second Tuesday.

The topics gathered last fall, on how to improve the county, will be part of these work sessions. A couple of commissioners and a lot of residents had submitted ideas. I hope to get a schedule of those topics out ahead of time and it is my hope that people will attend in person on subjects of interest to them.

The meetings will be held at the courthouse in the auditorium. Agendas are on the county web page the Thursday before the meeting dates. The goal is to be a better-informed board and another benefit is an earlier agenda deadline, giving commissioners more time to research spending proposals.

ARPA funds—with no clear target, my concern has been that this $2.7 million will be spent a little at a time with no clear benefit that can make a difference down the road. The use of these funds is an extremely restricted target.

They cannot be used to decrease the budget or reduce the levy. But spread around the county they could have a dramatic affect on our tax base and future levies.

Infrastructure is one of those things that would be a good investment. Seventy-five new homes, five years down the road, could generate a lot for the county, schools and municipalities. Also, holding future tax increases down for all of us. And affordable housing in the country is in short supply.

Redistricting­—by law we must complete this process soon. District 5 has gained numbers in the last 10 years and District 4, which is the center half of the county, continues to decline. So some adjustments to these district lines are inevitable.

Negotiations continue with five different groups for the current year. Some things done before 2021 are making these more difficult. I won’t comment while these negotiations are in progress.

We can work hard to save a few dollars here and there but unless we figure out this part our tax rates will continue to be one of the highest in the state.

Looking for more permanent solutions may be better than being in the same spot 20 years down the road.

Murlyn Kreklau

District 4 Commissioner


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