County board sets preliminary levy

Complying with state statutes, the Cook County commissioners 
set the preliminary 2013 tax levy for the Cook County – Grand Marais 
Economic Development Authority (EDA) at their Sept. 18 meeting, but 
that figure—which was left unchanged from the current rate—is far from 
a done deal.
The discussion was sparked when Auditor-Treasurer Braidy Powers told 
the board that the preliminary levy has to be set and turned in to the 
state for certification before Oct. 1. “That means you have to either 
set it this week, or at your meeting next week.” However, he added, 
the number can be changed—up or down—any time before the end of the 
year when the budget is finalized. “All you have to do today is give 
me a number to plug in and send to the state.”
“This is something we’re going to have to have a meeting with them 
for,” said Board Chair Jan Hall. “It needs some more discussion.”
As there were many unknowns, Commissioner Jim Johnson suggested the 
EDA’s levy amount remain at $148,566. “This obviously needs more 
discussion. We can add to it later if we need more for the bond 
payment.”
At Hakes’ suggestion, that discussion will take place with a joint 
meeting of the county board, city council and EDA board. “They (EDA) 
can come to us and present their plans and tell us how they’re going 
to spend the money, and answer our questions and concerns,” she said. 
A date for that meeting will be announced soon.