Dick Kelly, Minnehaha County Commissioner discussed upcoming budget issues Wednesday June 5th, during Viewpoint University on KSOO.

According to Kelly, the county will receive about $900,000 more in tax revenue next year. That is good news. The bad news, proposals from county departments far exceed that dollar amount.

One problem for the county is the cost of prosecuting and defending people arrested for driving while intoxicated and other crimes involving alcohol. The state and city receive money from various taxes on adult beverages.

The county gets nothing, but has the responsibility to pay for court costs and in many cases, incarceration. Those costs continue to go up with the number of cases and paying personnel to process the case load.

Efforts in front of the legislature to change the law so counties can receive money to cover their costs have not been successful.

There are capital building projects which are on the list:

  • A new correction facility to replace the aging and poorly located one which is on Russell Street very near the new events center.
  • The city/county museum system has more items than they have room for. Storage for antiquities is part of the list.
  • There is discussion about a need to replace the Juvenile Detention Center.
  • A garage and storage lot for county road maintenance and other vehicles.

There are also proposals for additional staff to serve the growing number of people in the county.

Commissioner Kelly said budget talks will get underway in the next three weeks. He offered no thoughts on what projects will be financed and no ideas on whether taxes will need to be increased beyond the opt out recently approved.