A change will have to be made to the budget for the county clerk's
office. The line item could be increased from $93,000 to
$106,493.50. The item in question concerns expenses that will have
to be paid due to elections. The adjustment will be brought to the
full board for approval.
Chuck Ruben, committee chairman,
indicated that funding from the Viper Mine and Monsanto needs to be
reflected in the new budget. It was determined that $30,000 should
be added to the enterprise zone fees that will be coming in. Those
businesses pay the fees to be considered part of the enterprise
zone. Previously, these fees were not listed.
"We've probably been failing to budget for it for several years,"
Changes have been made to funds concerning building and grounds
activity. Funds for elevator services dropped by $5,000, and utility
funds dropped by $10,000. Ruben also reported an error in the form
of a $5,000 finance committee adjustment. No such adjustment is set
for approval. The expenses for courthouse grounds have also been
moved to the farm section of the budget as of last month, and $5,000
was added to the line item.
Jan Schumacher reported that the insurance premium at the end of
this year will be $217,135. "Next year, it will increase slightly,
but we don't know the amount yet," she said. The line item providing
the necessary funds will be adjusted to $230,000 to prepare for any
In 2010, the county spent $67,000 for the care and support of
minors. For the 2011 and 2012 fiscal years, the budgeted amount has
been $55,000. The finance committee expects that this trend will
continue into the new fiscal year.
Circuit Clerk Mary Kelley commented: "These are fees for
mediation, when the court has to appoint a lawyer, if parents are
unable to pay."
The line items for Main Street Lincoln and historic sites will
need to be exchanged due to a typing error. Main Street Lincoln will
receive revenue of $7,500, and historic sites will receive $15,000.
It was debated as to whether or not inactive grants should even
be listed on the budget.
"Those are things that really should just drop off, since there
is no activity," said Vicki Dugan, county treasurer.
Dugan also asked the committee if the lines could just be renamed
to reflect new grants. Ruben indicated that these grants could be
removed, but certain blank line items should be left in for the sake
of comparing with previous years.
With any changes made after Wednesday, the estimated remaining
funds should total around $45,000. Ruben said there is a little room
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The topic of courthouse salaries was brought up. These employees
are not in unions, nor are they elected or appointed officials.
However, the money that could be used to give raises will be tied up
in paying for bonds in order to pay for the Harris case. To give a 3
percent raise for all of these employees would amount to $40,000,
and then to provide $80,000 initial payments on bonds, the board
would need $120,000.
"This major criminal trial expense has us
in a bind," said Schumacher.
The bonds being borrowed would be a total of $600,000. Part of
those funds would cover the cost of moving the trial to a new
location, should this occur.
"We can't give everyone a 3 percent raise and then take 2 percent
from everybody's budget," said Ruben. "That's not fair to put them
(the department heads) in that position. Ultimately, we have to be
the bad guy."
Rick Aylesworth commented: "It would be nice to give them
something, even if it is 2 percent."
The debate will be brought to the full board as to whether or not
any raises can be given or not.
Terry Carlton was absent, so there was no revenue report.
"Revenues are lagging behind, as they always do," said Ruben.
The state income tax is currently behind by nearly $200,000.
However, payments are usually received a couple of months late, so
it is hard to say just how far behind the state really is.
Currently, the financial committee is reviewing the third draft
of the 2013 budget. "We're getting close," said Ruben.
The budget is expected to be voted at the Oct. 16 session and
then would be displayed for public view. Final approval is set for
Committee members present were Chuck Ruben, chairman; Dave Hepler;
Bob Farmer; Jan Schumacher; and Rick Aylesworth. Guests included
Vicki Dugan, county treasurer; Mary Kelley, circuit clerk; and Sally
Gosda, finance representative for the Department of Public Health.
[By DEREK HURLEY]