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Historical Society asking for mill levy increase

Hettinger County residents will soon decide whether to increase their Historical Society's mill levy.

The Historical Society's levy is set at .34 mills and a measure on the Nov. 2 ballot asks for an increase to .75 mills.

"Their buildings are in such bad need of repair, they have to try to get money somewhere," Roy Steiner, Hettinger County auditor, said of the county museum.

If the measure passes, it would raise the group's revenue from the county from $3,500 to $7,600, Steiner added. It would increase property taxes about 70 cents on a $40,000 home and about $1 for 160 acres of land, he said.

The Historical Society needs the extra cash because exhibits in museum buildings in Regent are in jeopardy if repairs can't be made, said Steve Sloan, Hettinger County Historical Society Board vice president.

"We have five buildings over there that are all very old and they are all in need new roofs," he said. "They've been patched for many, many years and they're just beyond the point of patching any further. They're going to have to be replaced."

Sloan estimates it would take about $40,000 to get the buildings into good shape.

"If the measure is voted down, at some point in the foreseeable future, the Historical Society will have some tough choices to make," Sloan said. "We just simply don't have the money to maintain all of those exhibits in all of those buildings with that small amount of money we get from the county."

The Dr. S.W. Hill building is on the National Historic Registry, he added.

"It's where Dr. Hill had his offices and clinic for many, many years and delivered over 3,000 babies in the Regent area and Hettinger County over those years," Sloan said. "That building is as it was when he closed up shop.

"It was a drug store, it was a soda fountain, it was a Dr.'s office with the tables and shelves and waiting room, etc., that all the residents in Hettinger County remember going to."

The building recently had cosmetic repairs.

In 2000 the issue was on the ballot as well, but it was voted down, Steiner said.

Also on the Hettinger County bllot:

r County Commission district 2: Carson Kouba and Rob Larson

r County auditor: Roy J. Steiner

r County state's attorney: James D. Gion

r County recorder/clerk of court: Sylvia Gion

r County treasurer: Loran D. Rixen

r Supervisor, soil conservation district Slope-Hettinger: Dale Friedt

r County sheriff: Sarah Wanner. Josh Bullinger will also appear on the ballot, though he is no longer running.