John e-mails: "How much money has been spent to remodel the Winneshiek County Auditor's Office?"
Mr. Answer Person says: The short answer is: "$11,140."
The longer answer is that the money comes from the regular budget of the County Auditor and does not represent additional spending that caused higher property taxes.
In this case, new County Auditor Ben Steines decided that the office needed some technology upgrades and some remodeling. So Steines ordered three new computers and a scanner for a total of $3,480. The repainting of his office cost $1,590, but the cost came from a general courthouse account.
That left $6,069 in in office dividers and other office equipment to upgrade the office.
The charges will be paid out of two years of the Auditor's budget. Every county department has some money in its budget for maintenance expenses, in an attempt to make sure county government keeps up with changes in technology and keeps its offices functioning well.