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May 20, 2014 | 01:27 PM
LINN — Last year, a town road project came in much higher than expected, despite an existing policy to regulate departmental spending.

At a special meeting in April, the Linn Town Board made the policy a little more definitive.

In recent phone interviews, chairman Jim Weiss said they added language to the policy that defines what a department can and can’t spend without committee or board approval.

“We went way over budget on the Linn Road renovation in 2013,” he said about what prompted the board action

On May 15, he estimated the project — which involved road reconstruction and some drainage work — was more than $50,000 over budget. The actual overage number was not available by press time.

A request for actual figures was made to town clerk-treasurer Sue Polyock May 13. On May 14, she said she wouldn’t be able to produce those figures by press time.

She said she is out of town this week for a municipal clerk’s convention in Milwaukee.

Supervisors Christine Jones, Roy White, Craig DeYoung and Alex Palmer were also asked why they voted in favor of the policy change.

They didn’t provide comments by press time.

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Weiss said there was a department spending policy in place, “but it wasn’t as spelled out.”

He said the policy now states:

• A department head does not need approval to purchase a budgeted item that costs up to $5,000.

• Any budgeted item that costs $5,000 or more needs committee approval.

• Any budgeted purchase $10,000 or more needs town board approval.

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• Any purchase that isn’t budgeted for, or that a department no longer has the funds for, needs town board approval.

The old policy didn’t differentiate between budgeted and non-budgeted items, Weiss said. It also didn’t state when purchases need to go to committees.

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