The Douglas County Board wants to hear from the public about its 2012-13 budget.
County Commissioners will continue discussions on the budget Tuesday morning at the Omaha-Douglas Civic Center. Last week, board chairman Marc Kraft told Omaha Public Radio that all options are on the table in the coming fiscal year to raise revenue, including a possible tax increase. No decision has been made on that yet.
The current fiscal year budget of $311 million contains no tax increase.
The Iowa DOT has taken public comments on the rail study since February, and held public meetings throughout the state. It’s part of a five-step process that could lead to passenger rail travel through Iowa.
Omaha’s first gun amnesty day of 2012 is Saturday.
The Omaha Police Department is co-sponsoring the amnesty day at 50th and Ames. Last year, police collected 127 illegal or unwanted firearms during three gun amnesty events.
Lieutenant Shayna Ray of OPD’s Gang Unit says firearms, ammunition, and fireworks are accepted at the amnesty sites. Ray says guns and ammunition are accepted no questions asked. Police don’t get information from people who turn in illegal or unwanted guns at the amnesty day events.
Douglas County is replacing two vehicles with Compressed Natural Gas or CNG ones.
In April, the Douglas County Board of Commissioners voted to replace two high mileage vehicles with CNG vehicles. Chairman Marc Kraft says CNG vehicles are more efficient and run cleaner than gas or diesel vehicles.
He says the vehicles pay for themselves within 2 ½ to 3 years after purchase. Kraft says the purchase is part of Douglas County’s efforts to find environmentally friendly solutions.
The Douglas County Board is starting the process of putting together a 2012-2013 budget.
Douglas County’s new fiscal year begins July 1. Chairman Marc Kraft says everything is on the table, including a tax increase, because the county has limited sources of revenue. “The major challenge is that we have limited ability to create income sources. Most of our income comes from either grants or from property taxes, and a small amount comes from fees we charge.”
The Malcolm X Birthday Celebration features three days of events this week.
Walter Brooks is the Administrative Director for the Malcolm X Memorial Foundation. He says the festivities kick off Thursday night with a program called “Verbal Gumbo.”
The evening features spoken word artists and live music at the House of Loom. Brooks says that’s followed by a presentation from a dynamic African-American motivational speaker on Friday called “Mental Liberation.”
The guest speaker Friday is Nationally-acclaimed poet and author Basheer Jones.
The Omaha, Bellevue, and Papillion Fire Departments have announced a mutual aid agreement.
The automatic mutual aid agreement begins at 10 AM Wednesday. It means the closest fire department will respond to an emergency, regardless of jurisdiction. For example, if a Bellevue resident with an emergency lives closer to a south Omaha fire station, that station would respond first.