A preliminary 2021 budget was approved for publication Monday by the Finney County Commission at a special meeting.


The county mill levy will decrease to 48.605 mills in 2021 from 48.608 in 2020.


There will be no impact to property owners on the county portion of the tax bill.


Robert Reece, Finney County administrator, said the reason there will be no impact is that the decrease was so slight.


In total, it is about a 4.5 cent decrease from the previous year.


A public hearing on the budget will be held on Aug. 24.


Reece said the decrease stayed so small because the commission directed him to keep the mill levy flat.


"The commission recognized that with everything going on (wtih COVID-19), that they wanted to maintain that, to keep it flat," he said.


There weren’t any big changes to the budget from this past year to this year, Reece said.


The proposed 2021 budget is for $47,987,120. The 2020 budget was 46,182,289.


In other business, Colleen Drees, Finney County Health Department director, gave an update on COVID-19 within the county.


From the week of July 27-31, the positivity rate was 22%, Drees said, a decrease of 5% from the previous week.


The positivity rate for the week of Aug. 3-7 is still unknown as a significant number of tests are still pending, Drees said.


Hopitalizations due to COVID-19 are down, Drees said.


"In the last three weeks the top number of hospitalizations we reported were 10. However, this morning we have three current as of today (Aug. 10)," she said.