ELLSWORTH -- The 2020 Pierce County budget was approved unanimously with a total levy of about $20 million, an approximately 1.7% increase from the 2019 budget.

Only one board member, Michael Kahlow, was absent from the voting Nov. 12.

The net county levy increased by about 1.7% with the operating levy sitting at just over $16 million, with debt service at $3.2 million, county library at $476,707 and county aid bridges at $200,000.

Slight changes to the initial budget proposal were approved to reflect budget requests at the state’s allowable levy limit which increased by $319,244 since 2019:

  1. Additional 0.25% cost of living adjustment to equal 1.5% for non-represented employees and transfer to contingency for a budgeted total of $31,394.

  2. Increase leave liability for a budgeted total of $12,400.

  3. Purchase a veterans transport van for a budgeted total of $46,500.

Mill rates dropped by 4.1% due to a combination of an increase in equalized value and 1.9% net new construction.