The Kewaunee County Finance & Public Property Committee on Friday will address two major changes to the proposed 2019 county budget.
The County Board’s Personnel, Advisory & Legislative Committee is recommending changes to the county’s investment in the Kewaunee County Economic Development Corp. and a proposed $1 million allocation for broadband internet access improvements.
Both issues were matters of discussion when the board discussed the budget Oct. 9. The conversation continued when the Personnel Committee met two days later.
Personnel, which is comprised of all of the board’s standing committee chairs, modified the original proposal to budget $40,000 for KCEDC, which plans to hire a new executive director. The nonprofit public-private partnership is undergoing a reorganization after the county cuts its investment to $18,000 for 2018.
The new proposal is to earmark $40,000 but to turn over only the first $30,000 upon receipt of an invoice from KCEDC and to hold back the remaining $10,000 until the end of the third quarter pending fulfillment of the organization’s publicly stated goal of matching its public-sector contributions with private-sector donations.
Some supervisors were also skeptical of allocating $1 million from the county’s Economic Development Fund without a specific broadband expansion project being on the table. County Administrator Scott Feldt said the allocation was intended to show the county is committed to improving internet access for local businesses and residents.
County Board Chairman Robert Weidner said he intends to appoint a task force to study the issue and provide guidance, and the minutes of the Oct. 11 Personnel Committee indicate that some members preferred to take the money out of the budget and establish the task force.
The committee voted to remove the $1 million budget item and take up the matter as a standalone item.
Those modifications will be on the agenda when the Finance Committee meets at 8 a.m. Friday (Nov. 2) at the County Administration Center, 810 Lincoln St., Kewaunee. The County Board plans to pass the 2019 budget in its final form when it meets at 5:30 p.m. Monday (Nov. 5), also at the Administration Center.