Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Gogebic County increases 911 fee


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Bessemer — The county 911 fee was set at $2 by the Gogebic County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday.

The commissioners 6-0 approved a recommendation from the county’s 911 Committee to increase the county’s 911 operating surcharge from $1.50 to $2 per month effective July 1. Commissioner George Peterson was not present. 

Heidi DeRosso, county emergency management and 911 coordinator, said the intention of the committee is to remain at $2 for the foreseeable future. The voter-approved fee increase will fund equipment replacement and upgrades, a new communication line and other projects.

Commission members expressed concern that the fee has increased in consecutive years. Others said the lack of solid figures in the committee’s five-year projection could result in another increase as a result of unforeseen situations.

The commissioners approved the 2020 Equalization Report, presented by Kathy Jo Koval director of the Gogebic County Equalization Department. The report outlines the recommended values for each taxing unit and class of property.

The recommended 2020 county equalized value is $684,593,840, which is a 2% increase from 2019, Koval said. The tentative taxable value is $554,426,466, which is a 3% increase from 2019.

The county’s total assessed real property valuation for 2020 is $608,409,482 with an equalized valuation of $602,303,195. The total assessed personal property valuation for 2020 is $82,291,292. The equalized total is the same.

The county’s total assessed real plus personal property valuation for 2020 is $690,700,774 with an equalized valuation of $684,594,487.

This is a $9,764,122 or 1.45% increase from 2019.

The report also showed a 9.77% increase in equalized agricultural valuation; a 1.9% increase in industrial valuation, and a 0.13% increase in timber-cutover valuation.

The valuations will distribute the burden of financing county services among the nine separate taxing units in a fair and equitable manner, according to Koval’s report. 

In other business, the commissioners approved:

—Third quarter appropriations for the Gogebic-Iron County Airport Authority for the Airport Capital Outlay Fund and Airport Operating Fund. 

—Extending employee pay extension tentatively through April.

—The list of students to receive $2,500 scholarships for 2020. 

—Application for proposed USDA Rural Development grants for the purchase of a $26,800 truck with plow and an $18,000 administrative vehicle.

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