Commissioners will make suggestions for budget cuts ahead of a July 2 workshop.
The county is predicting a budget increase of millions of dollars this coming year, and rising property values alone aren’t going to be enough to pay for it.
County Administrator Craig Coffey has suggested a millage increase — 0.25 mills, or 25 cents per $1,000 in taxable value, in order to raise an additional $2.1 million — but county commissioners aren’t supportive.
“I have a really bad feeling about the $2.1 million,” Commission Chairman Greg Hansen said. “I don’t have the stomach to increase the millage rate 0.25.”
Commissioner Donald O’Brien also said the county should look to cut expenses. To him, he said, aside from cost of living increases for staff, “everything else is on the table.”
The proposed increases come in the form of more Sheriff’s Office deputies, more fire rescue staff, and equipment and staff for the Supervisor of Elections Office and the Clerk of Courts Office, as well as various county departments.
The Sheriff has requested $2.9 million more this year than last, the supervisor of elections is requesting $107,000, the Clerk of Court is requesting $170,000, the Property Appraiser’s Office $345,000. Coffey has already asked the sheriff to cut his request back to $2.5 million, and has also requested some trimming from the clerk of court and the supervisor of elections.
Board members agreed to tell him or send him suggestions before the July 2 workshop.