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County finds some $aving$

By Sun Advocate

Carbon County Officials have identified possible changes that amount to $260,500 in the General Fund, and $1.35 million in the Municipal Building Authority Fund. The adjustments being considered were outlined in a presentation by Commissioner Jae Potter during a public work meeting Wednesday on the County’s 2017 Tentative Budget. The meeting was the first in a series of public work meetings to discuss county budgets, specifically focusing on revenues, expenses and services provided by the various county departments.
The Commissioners, along with County Clerk/Auditor Seth Oveson, have been going over the 2017 Tentative Budget to identify where expenses could be cut, where purchases could be delayed, and where unused revenue could be found.
Potter said the process included a review of past budgets to determine where changes could be recommended. “And so these are some changes that I feel we could immediately take out of the Commission Budget,” he stated adding, “This is not an exclusive department review. This is a review of items that were clerical in nature, data input in nature, and things that we could see that we just didn’t not need the budget going forward.” Potter noted that there was also $68,000 left unspent from 2016 that will be returned to the next Commission budget.
Proposed adjustments in the General Fund were flagged in several departments: Justice Court, Drug Court, Personnel, Engineering, Elections, Recorder’s Office, Treasurer’s Office, GIS, Ambulance, Free TV, Industrial Park, Courthouse expenses, Wellness Committee, and Maintenance/Abatement, along with some non-departmental adjustments.
Potter pointed out, “We have not met individually with our other departments. We’re starting that process so that we can keep meeting as we go forward. We’ll be reviewing in detail the things that we find as we talk about department specifics.”
County Officials also looked into the Municipal Building Authority Budget, which is largely funded by the Recreation and Transportation Special Service District. The MBA entails projects that require bonding and debt service. Potter related, “They had committed in their meetings to provide the County with $3,450,000. Within this particular budget, we only allocated initially $2,500,000, so there’s an additional $950,000 in revenue that will come to us from the service district in this budget year.” The County is also reducing the soccer field project by $400,000 because the money was already spent in 2016. “So that’s a total savings or difference in the budget of $1,350,000, Potter continued. “So if you add those two that we just went through and this one, you’re a million, six- a million, seven in savings and changes. That’s just the start of what we’ve been able to find as Commissioners with Seth’s help, with I-T’s help.”
The Board of Commissioners has scheduled additional public work meetings on county budgets to give the public further opportunity to participate and be heard. The meetings are scheduled from 3:00 p.m to 4:00 p.m. Wednesday, January 18, and Wednesday, January 25. A public hearing will also be held in conjunction with the regular commission meeting on February 1 for consideration to re-open the 2017 budget and make any necessary adjustments to all affected funds. The meeting convenes at 4:30 p.m.

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