Supervisors set budget guides

By Xiomara Levsen, The JOURNAL


Departmental budget recommendations were set by the supervisors for the county departments for the 2018-19 fiscal year at the meeting Tuesday morning.

Board chairman Richard Young said the past several years there has been a zero percent increase in budgets for the different departments unless they come speak to the board about an having an increase.

?What is your gentlemen?s wishes?? Young asked the other supervisors.

?Let?s talk to some of the department heads that are here and ask how that worked out,? supervisor Stan Stoops replied.

Washington County treasurer Jeff Garrett asked Young if he remembered correctly the zero percent increase was separate from the employee costs.

?That is correct,? Young said.

?I think that?s a good way to handle that, because for departments like mine, where 75 to 80 percent of my budget is salary, that makes it pretty tough to give any kind of increase if my whole department budget is zero,? Garrett said. ?It worked out well the last couple of years and I encourage you to keep it like that.?

Supervisor Abe Miller said keep it at zero, but if the departments can cut their budget then they should try.

Auditor Dan Widmer said he agreed with what Garrett said. He also said his requests for budget increases for election years has worked out well and thinks the process should stay the same.

A special election will be held for the communications center next year, Young said, so this would have to be factored into the budget for the auditor?s department and the county?s fiscal budget. However, they could split that cost by having it with the primary elections for city and county in August or September 2018 or the school board elections in September.

A motion was made to keep the departmental guidelines and budget recommendations at zero percent excluding employee costs.

The motion was approved unanimously.

The supervisors also approved resolutions for road easements regarding public highways for Mary Sheetz and Scott Cumming and Jeremiah and Rita Sheetz; personnel change requests for communications, conservation and secondary roads departments; the 2017 Weed Commissioner Report; designation of The Washington Evening Journal for official publication of Washington County proceedings in 2018; resolutions for revisions to the Washington County Veterans Affiars manual and General Assistance manual and the certification of Cost Allocation Plan.

The next meeting will be held at 9:30 a.m., Wednesday, Dec. 27. The courthouse will be closed Monday, Dec. 25, and Tuesday, Dec. 26, to observe the holiday.