Budget Committee Cuts Contributions To Local Agencies

The Cannon County Budget Committee slashed through the contribution requests for the 2011-2012 fiscal year as the budget meetings continued Thursday at the Courthouse.

According to Chairman Mark Barker, going into Thursday's meeting, the bottom line estimate as it stands right now is to spend 5.14 million dollars, dipping into the fund balance $610,000 and wiping out the fund balance. At the end of the meeting last week, Barker advised the rest of the committee to think about a five cent tax increase.

Committee Member Kevin George stated that a five cent increase would amount to $100,000, however there's places in the budget that need to be really looked into. George studied the budget in depth over the week.

George brought up the Revenue and Expenses of the Ambulance Department. After conducting some research most of the ambulance services are in the black and a few of the ambulance services are in the red by $100,000.

Cannon County Ambulance Services xxpenses are $782,000; however, their revenue was only $495,000. George then said before he would even start to consider a tax increase, he wants to know what other counties are doing to close the gap between expenses vs revenue, thus helping the committee to consider ways to do the same.

A big chunk of money the County contributes to various organizations was cut out of the budget. The budget committee agreed to ax the $100 contribution to the Cannon County Basketball Program. Also cut from the contribution list was $100 for Cannon County YouthDream, $500 for Family Traditions, $5,000 for SAVE, $100 for the Stones River Watershed Association, $750 for Tennessee Rehab and $150 for the Woodbury Lions Club.

The contribution from the County to the Senior Center will remain at $6500 and more research will be done on the Forestry Division's request for $1000.

The Committee went back through the budget requests again and did very little cutting as most of the trimming of budget requests had been done in previous meetings.

As with every departmental budget request, increases in salaries for County employees are being sought. Chairman Barker wants figures worked up for next week to see what the budget would look like if all employees were given a one percent raise. The amount should also reflect the Social Security amount of each as well.

The Budget Committee will meet next Thursday to review the Cannon County Schools budget request at 6:00 at the Cannon County Courthouse.