WAHOO – Sound quality in the room where the Saunders County Board of Supervisors meet will improve after a project to install acoustic panels is finished.

    The county board voted to move ahead with the project during its meeting Tuesday morning. Ben Moss with Audio Video Specialist of Fremont showed the supervisors an example of the panels, which include sound dampening fabric and padding.

    The first phase of the project will cost $2,880 and will include 23 panels. The supervisors chose a stone color for the panels, which will be installed at various places in the former courtroom. They will be placed on the walls above the paneling to retain the historic elements in the room.

    “Trying to keep the integrity of the courtroom is big,” Moss said.

    Moss also had some other suggestions to improve sound quality in the room, which has issues with reverberation and echoing. He said moving the speakers on the walls will help.

    “That are cancelling each other out,” he said.

    Moss said replacing the hard plastic chairs set out for the public to use with upholstered chairs would also lesson noise issues in the large room.

    The supervisors also spent a considerable amount of time discussing the 2019-2020 budget.

    Administrative Assistant to the County Board Mitch Polacek reported that the county’s property valuation is $4,020,703,329. That is an increase of 3.2 percent of last year’s valuation, which was $3,894,985,429.

    The final tax levy was not set, but the supervisors discussed their goals in setting the figure.

    “I think we can get by without raising the levy at all,” said Supervisor Dave Lutton of Ashland.

    The budget will be discussed again at the Sept. 3 supervisors meeting, and the county board will hold a public hearing prior to voting on the budget and the tax request on Sept. 10.

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