Commission makes budget decisionsThe Stutsman County Commission approved funding for 2010 for noncounty agencies at a funding level equal to 2009 funding during a special budget meeting held Tuesday.
By: Keith Norman, The Jamestown Sun
The Stutsman County Commission approved funding for 2010 for noncounty agencies at a funding level equal to 2009 funding during a special budget meeting held Tuesday.
The exception was dues to the South Central Regional Council, which went up from $26,000 per year to $29,000.
The decision was not without debate.
“It is tough to control our budgets when we’re getting hammered by everyone else,” said Mark Klose, commission chairman.
Jamestown Ambulance had requested an increase in funding from $15,000 to $18,000 and the Jamestown Community Corrections Program had asked for an increase from $7,500 to $15,000 for 2010.
The county also debated how to fund several departments that are currently projected to deficit spend in 2010.
“You need to decide if you’re going to use reserve accounts to repair flood damaged properties at the county park,” said Noel Johnson, chief operating officer of the county. “If you don’t, it will look the same next year as it does now. You need at least a $200,000 transfer to repair the campgrounds.”
Along with the capital projects to repair flood damage, the county park budget usually runs about $80,000 in the red, Johnson said. In previous years the shortfall has been covered with grants from government agencies and donations from local groups such as the Dakota Anglers.
The board also discussed raising the mill levy used to provide the county agent’s office from the current 2 mills. This would require a public vote.
“We’ve been negative spending there,” Johnson said. “They’re out of resources.”
The board reviewed the county general fund budget that included the addition of a tax director position. Currently Johnson serves as the tax director, auditor, election administrator, zoning administrator and superintendent of schools.
“Take a look around the courthouse,” Johnson said. We’re all getting older, we need to have a plan for a transition as people in critical positions retire.”
The board placed finalizing the budget on the Sept. 1 regular meeting agenda. At that time members will decide on what capital projects they will undertake in 2010, wage increases for county employees and whether they will pass on any part of the $250,000 increase in health insurance costs to the county employees.
Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at (701) 952-8452 or by e-mail at email@example.com