Expenditures up slightly in county’s 2012-13 budget
WEST BRANCH — The Ogemaw County Board of Commissioners approved the county’s 2012-13 budget with $8,795,758 in expenditures — an increase of approximately $76,441 from the latest amended budget for 2011-12.
The board approved the budget unanimously during its Sept. 13 meeting.
Commissioner Bev Scott, a member of the county’s budget and finance committee, said benefits are the main reason for the increase.
“There wasn’t much (increase) in wages, just a little in wages, but it was mostly in insurance,” she said.
Clerk’s office administrative assistant Caren Piglowski said the insurance numbers in the approved budget could change before the budget goes into effect, as union contracts are still being negotiated between commissioners and county employees.
“Until our union contracts are finalized, we don’t know the exact number,” she said, adding the amount employees contribute toward benefits could change during negotiations.
With union negotiations ongoing, the only wage increase in next year’s budget is a raise for 911 Director Carol Adair, Scott said.
“For some reason she’s never been given a raise,” she said.
Piglowski said a $2,500 raise was approved for Adair.
According to Scott, the budget for the upcoming fiscal year will be more accurate than last year’s, when the county budgeted $8,438,337 in expenditures before the beginning of the 2011-12 fiscal year, but the amended budget ended up at $8,719,317.
“I think we have a more realistic budget this year,” she said.
Scott said in the past, some department heads would project revenues low, which would allow them to surpass them. Department heads that surpassed revenue projections sometimes request more money to spend during the year, which means the county has to make budget adjustments, Scott said. This was the case last year, she said.
“We had problems with the revenue budget,” she said. “It was right to the wall. It was not good.”
Revenues are even with expenditures for the 2012-13 budget, but the county transferred nearly $300,000 out of its revolving fund to balance the budget, Piglowski said.
“Revenues for next year are projected at $8,795,758, but that includes money from the revolving fund that they’re transferring in,” she said.
There were no layoffs in the 2012-13 budget, Scott said.
“What we basically try to do is through attrition, and make it work that way,” she said.
Oct. 1 is the deadline for counties to have their budgets approved for the upcoming fiscal year.
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