Employee Raises get the Nod – Non Profits Put on Hold
The Jefferson County Budget Committee will not be starting this budget season in the hole, as it has in the past few budget cycles, according to information provided by Jefferson County Finance Director Potts. During last week’s first budget meeting to address the fiscal year 2017-2018 budget, Director Potts stated that the committee should not be facing a $1.5 million dollar deficit as they did in the 2015-16 fiscal year budget or even the $1 million dollar deficit they found as their starting point for the current fiscal year. This budgeting season should find them on level ground and the assumptions that were approved in the first meeting will request that Department Heads and Elected Officials submit a zero based budget, with increases only coming in the areas of property/casualty/workers compensation insurance of 5%, employee health insurance of 5%, 4% for natural gas, 1.5% electricity and no increase for gasoline. Any capital project expenditures are to be through Jefferson County Facilities Supervisor David Longmire.
Additionally, the Committee, with a motion from Carmichael and 2nd from McGraw, approved only hearing from non profits that were funded during the current fiscal year, though they did leave the door open to look at availability of funding for other non profits only after funding of employee raises. In a motion from Tucker/McGraw the Committee approved including employee raises, based on the current Consumer Price Index, as an additional budget assumption, which would place the same priority on raises as the increases to insurance and utilities. Two non profits that did not make the current fiscal year’s cut, Safe Space and Senior Citizens Home Assistance Program, appeared before the Committee during the time reserved for appearance of citizens to request that they be included in the funding allocations. During the current fiscal year, only two non profits outside of the fire departments made the initial funding cut, the Boys and Girls Club and the Humane Society.
In other business that came before the Committee, the Minutes of the January 9, 2017 meeting were approved with a motion from Carmichael/Douglas and school budget amendments were approved with motions from McGraw/Carmichael and Seals/McGraw.