Polk interim manager presents draft budget

Published 3:35 pm Friday, May 31, 2013

Public hearing June 10

Despite losing an estimated $500,000 projected in revenue, next year the Polk County Board of Commissioners is moving forward with a proposed budget including a ¼ cent tax decrease, which has resulted in concern by some.

Commissioners held a special meeting Friday, May 31 and were presented the recommended fiscal year 2013-2014 budget by interim county manager Marche Pittman.

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The total budget is for $25,754,086 at a recommended 51.75 cent per $100 of valuation tax rate, compared to the current 52 cents.

The county projects to lose approximately $400,000 in state hold harmless money next year as well as an estimated $100,000 in property tax revenue following the county equalization and review board granting a partial appeal to the Bright’s Creek assessed tax value.

Pittman said next year’s budget meets many capital needs, which are being funded through fund balance appropriation due to the expectation of excess revenues over expenditures for the year ending June 30, 2013.

“Polk County has had excess revenue over expenditures (without the consideration of fund balance appropriated during the fiscal year for capital projects, paying off debt, etc.) since 2006 and that amount hasn’t been under $1.4 million in any of these years,” said Pittman.

Capital expenditures included in next year’s budget proposal to be paid for out of fund balance include four new vehicles for the sheriff’s office and other equipment at $179,500, a new ambulance at $139,510, new vans for transportation with Polk’s portion being $12,592, two Ford Explorers; one for building inspections and one for the interim county manager at $51,190; a new server at $35,000, 10 computers, printers and scanners for the department of social services (DSS) at $7,050 for the county’s portion; cooking equipment for the jail at $5,000; a mower and spreader for maintenance at $2,700; replacement equipment for animal control at $2,000; a computer for the finance department at $1,000 and additional lighting for the district attorney’s office in the courthouse at $1,000 for a total of $436,542.

Employees will also increase next year with a new shift sergeant, an inmate transport officer and a jail administrator added to the sheriff’s office and jail and the creation of an emergency management director/fire marshal position. The county is also making some part-time positions full time and making some part-time temporary positions permanent as well as adjusting two DSS positions for slightly higher salaries.