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County Commissioners budget work continues

Budget work continued for the Haakon County Commissioners on Thursday, September 11, and Tuesday, September 16, as they pared down the difference between revenue and expenses.

When the commissioners had left Tuesday, September 9, the deficient sat at approximately $240,000, down by $40,000 from when they started earlier in the day. Overall revenue for the general fund and the road and bridge fund is $1,721,405. Expenses for both were $1,932,340.

Board president Neal Brunskill noticed that the $75,000 capital outlay designation had not been accounted for in the proposed 2009 budget. This put the 2009 budget $285,935 in the red.

Cuts made during this round of discussion included the request by Haakon County Sheriff Larry Hanes for a new car and lap top computers, a savings of $29,000. The board decided to give a flat pay raise of $800 per year to each county employee rather than a percentage raise, which netted savings of $3,300. Receiving the biggest cuts was the highway department. The board cut highway superintendent Kenny Neville's $175,000 request for gravel crushing, $25,000 from supplies and $10,000 from repairs and maintenance, a total of $210,000.

When the board resumed work on the budget Tuesday, September 16, county auditor Patricia Freeman presented updated figures to the board. The new figures showed a projected income of $1,060,082, an increase of $1,000 from last weeks figure. The projected expenses had dropped by nearly $97,000, and were at $869,241. This resulted in a difference of $190,833 to the good, said Brunskill.

The highway department budget's income changed to $664,500 and expenses dropped to $739,560. This still left a deficit of over $74,000 in that budget.

Other departments that showed deficits were emergency management and 911. During the afternoon, the commissioners worked on eliminating the deficits to create a balanced budget.

During Tuesday's meeting, the commissioners also discussed Extension office issues, approved payment of two bills, a raffle request and a contingency transfer of $9,521 for the jail account.

The board entered into executive session to discuss personnel issues at 11:55. They resumed the regular meeting at 12:04 with no action taken.

The board will meet in special session Tuesday, September 30, to finalize the budget and in hold regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, October 7.