The process of formulating a budget for Cannon County Government for the fiscal year 2010-211 began Tuesday night.
Members of the budget committee, commissioners Mark Barker and Greg Mitchell along with citizen representative Bill Jennings, and County Executive Mike Gannon, met at the Cannon County Courthouse.
Based upon the list of "wants" submitted by the different county departments, committee members will likely need to do some cutting.
"We need to look at spending harder than we have in the past," Gannon said. "Our revenues are down this year. This is not going to be a pretty budget year because of the state of the economy."
Gannon added the has done a good job of holding spending down the last three years, resulting in a fund balance of about $1.4 million.
"We have done well not to have a tax increase the last three years," Gannon said.
Revenue for the County General Budget at the end of of the current fiscal year on June 30 is estimated to be $5,098,478. Officials expect that revenue will decrease about $144,000 for 2010-2011, down to $4,954,778.
Estimated expenses at the end of this fiscal year are projected to be $5,535,819, which would put the county $437,341 in the red for the year.
Gannon cautioned, however, that those numbers are only estimated, and that revenue may be higher, and expenses lower, by June 30. One reason he anticipates expenses will be lower is that most departments do not spend all of their budgeted monies each year.
A deficit of nearly a half million dollars for 2009-2010 would pale in comparison to the one projected for 2010-2011 if the budget for next year is passed as proposed which, in reality, is unlikely.
After each county department submitted their proposed budgets for 2010-11 recently, the estimated total for County General came in at $6,199,257, versus revenue projected to be $4,954,778.
The proposed budgets included a three percent increase in pay for county employees.
A review of the proposed budgets show:
• An increase to $172,502 from $169,898 for the County Executive's office.
• An increase to $163,234 from $130,190 for the Election Commission. Most of the requested increase is to pay election workers, as two elections will be held during the fiscal year, in August and November.
• An increase to $112,250 from 109,783 for the Register of Deeds office.
• An increase to $207,301 from $203,486 for County Buildings maintenance and improvements.
• An increase to $118,786 from $117,019 for the Property Assessor's office.
• The County Trustee's Office submitted the same budget request as this year, $29,457.
• An increase to $47,273 from $43,932 for the County Clerk's office.
• An increase to $215,938 from $200,450 for the Circuit Court.
• An increase to $97,141 from $95,966 for the General Session Court.
• An increase to $110,968 from $103,845 for the Chancery Court.
• An increase to $28,157 from $26,777 for the Juvenile Court.
• An increase to $24,185 from $23,007 for Judicial Commissioners.
• An increase to $1,027,685 from $936,541 for the Sheriff's Department. The increase includes over $30,000 for deputy salaries and over $10,000 for both clerical personnel and employee insurance.
• An increase to $602,072 from $584, 673 for Jail operations.
• An increase to $373,735 from $57,600 for Fire Prevention and Control. The request includes $200,000 for motor vehicles, an additional $17,000 for uniforms, and an additional $18,000 for maintenance and repairs of vehicles.
• An increase to $10,335 from $2,835 for the Cannon County Rescue Squad.
• An increase to $60,368 from $11,750 for Emergency Management (Other), including a $40,000 salary for the supervisor/director.
• An increase to $957,927 from $786,007 for Ambulance Service, including an increase of over $140,00 for medical personnel.
The budget committee will continue the review process at its next meeting on Thursday, April 22, 2010 at 6 p.m. at the courthouse.