Commissioners approve 2010 operating budget
ARENAC COUNTY — The county will have slightly more money to work with next year, with the county jail fund providing the largest increase of any item in the county’s general fund.
At its Dec. 22 regular meeting, the county Board of Commissioners unanimously approved an operating budget of $5,230,829 for the 2010 fiscal year, an increase of more than $70,000 from its 2009 operating budget. The 2009 budget was $5,156,953 and change.
County Commissioner Ronald Branda said the county has not projected to take anything out of its tax administration fund, fund on hand for reserve purposes, in 2010 to balance the county budget. However, he said the county is projected to put about $234,000 from this year’s tax administration fund into the general fund, as a copy of the projected budget shows no monies drawn out of the reserve fund for 2009.
Branda also said with the addition of a kitchen and kitchen staff, the county jail will receive the biggest increase of any department items in the general fund. He said the jail would be supplying food to its inmates, as opposed to buying food from an outside provider. He said none of the department funds within the general fund are expected to decrease significantly.
At its Dec. 1 meeting, the board voted to give non-union employees of the county a two-percent wage increase, as well as a one-percent raise to elected officials, which could increase another one-percent depending on property tax revenues. However, Board Chairman Raymond Daniels said the county’s financial status as of May 2010 would determine whether the elected officials get the additional one percent raise.
“It hinges upon the numbers that come in May,” he said, adding that if employees have to take furlough days after that point, then elected officials would not receive the additional raise.
Daniels also said the county has saved almost $200,000 since the Board of Commissioners started meeting with department heads in May. “We’re pretty well where we wanted to be,” he said.