Douglas County Halts Projects Due To COVID-Budget Concerns
Douglas County is taking a conservative approach with a "wait and see"-strategy in regards to spending money; county officials have halted almost all spending for the time being - with a few exceptions being made for those deemed critical or of a safety concern.
According to news sources, Douglas County faces project requests in the amount of $2.1 million, but they have less than $1.2 million in available funding. In order to account for that difference, the spending halt was implemented until officials see what happens in the second half of this year - and - what happens to the COVID-19 situation.
At the present time, the county will only be funding three projects - allowing them to move forward. Reports detail that the following have made the cut:
- Replacement garage doors for the highway department location in Dairyland. This line item is being spent because it's a safety concern.
- A new cooling system for the county's computer room.
- Replacement of two computer servers. In this case, the county has determined that the cost of replacing these servers now is more-economical than repairs to the existing system, or the cost of new equipment next year (i.e. computer costs only continue to rise)
Overall, the sources of income for Douglas County remain a mixed bag when it comes to their overall health. Some parts of the revenue stream are flat or have seen increases; tax income, deed and registration office, and county park use fee incomes are all in the positive. However, there are concerns with how much the county stands to lose in potential loses over forestry - a loss magnified by the closing of the Verso paper mill plant in Duluth and Wisconsin Rapids.