Insufficient budget for 2007 plagues Haakon County auditor's office

The Haakon County Auditor's office will have to be supplemented by several thousand dollars due to budgeting errors from last year and the change from a part-time to a full-time deputy auditor.

Auditor Patricia Freeman outlined the errors for the Haakon County Commissioners at their monthly board meeting, Tuesday, September 4, 2007. Freeman noted that the budget was underestimated in co-share for health insurance, South Dakota Retirement System, supplies and telephone use. Not budgeted for were a shredder, worth over $1,000, annual dues and membership fees, computer support contract and computer support for a new auditor.

The total of these items is nearly $6,000. Currently the office has just over $4,300 left it its account. In order to pay for the shorted items along, with salary for the auditor and the deputy, a new computer and printer for the deputy, telephone use and supplies, Freeman was asking for another $15,500 plus for her budget. The budget requires $9,404 to meet Freeman's salary and $7,199 for the deputy's position. The board approved changing the position from part-time to full-time during the meeting. Freeman noted she has been working numerous hours at night and weekends to keep up with the office's requirements.

The board of commissioners agreed to supplement the budget on a monthly basis to meet the office's needs.

Kenny Neville, Haakon County highway superintendent, updated the board on the two road projects. Both are complete although the new road project south of Philip needs fencing and seeding yet.

Permission was given to Neville to start the paperwork for a bridge or box culvert project near Gary Nixon's place. The project is slated for work in 2011.

Th board was informed of a waterpipe leak above the Extension office. Dustin Lurz repaired the leaks, Freeman said. But, she noted, it was a matter of time before more leaks happen.

The commissioners discussed various avenues they could take for repair of the pipes. They also asked Freeman to contact a local contractor in regards to replacing the sewer line outside of the courthouse.

The board opted to not advertise to hire a new veteran's service officer at this time. Kevin Graber continues to come to Philip one day a week from Chamberlain and as long as this is workable for him they will utilize his services.

The board rescinded the burn ban that was put into effect in July.

The commissioners will meet Thursday, September 20, 2007, to finalize the 2008 budget. Their next monthly meeting will be October 2, 2007.