The Richmond Register

June 25, 2013

County budget shrinks by $1 million


Register Staff Report

RICHMOND — County government spending will go down by more than $1 million next year, not counting the federally funded Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program.

That’s even with the county spending an additional $143,500 on the detention center, a 6.2 percent increase, according to the budget Madison Fiscal Court adopted Tuesday morning.

However, CSEPP spending will rise by more than $5.85 million, a jump of more than 45 percent, to more than $18.76 million. The county will spend $100,000 from local revenue on CSEPP, according to the budget.

When CSEPP is not counted, the county budget will total just over $24.8 million, a decline of about 4.17 percent.

One reason regular county government spending will fall is that last year it spent $576,500 in capital outlay on the E-911 system.

Even with an extra $72,000 from the state Local Government Economic Assistance Fund, spending on county roads will be virtually the same, just over $3 million.

Fringe-benefit costs continue to go up, growing faster than any other single expense. They will rise by $273,767, or 10.2 percent, not counting CSEPP.

On the revenue side, real estate tax income is projected to rise $150,000 to $3.15 million, while other property taxes, as well as the payroll taxes, are expected to stay the same.

Income from housing state prisoners in the detention center is projected to fall by $50,000 to $700,000.

Magistrate Roger Barger said he would vote for the budget, but said he was worried about the lack of money set aside in savings, what he called a “rainy day fund.”

The budget projects a beginning as well as an ending balance of more than $5.22 million, more than 21 percent of the total budget, excluding CSEPP.

County Judge/Executive Kent Clark pronounced the budget “excellent,” and said he was proud of the way all departments worked together to draft it, especially fiscal court, County Treasurer Glenna Baker and her staff.

“We’re still not raising taxes,” Clark said, “We’re spending within our means.”

In other business, the court:

• Opened contract negotiations to purchase replacement equipment for emergency 911.

• Appointed James Lovell as the new animal shelter coordinator. Lovell will replace Keith Crawford, shelter coordinator of 30 years, who is retiring at the end of the month.

• Passed a resolution in support of Sherwin-Williams expanding under the Kentucky Business Investment Act. The industry has been offered a tax incentive from the state of $1.2 million for the expansion, which will create 59 new jobs in Madison County.

The next Madison Fiscal Court meeting will be July 9 at the Berea Police and Municipal Building, 304 Chestnut St.