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Brief hearing held on next county budget

SHERIDAN — The Board of County Commissioners met Monday to hold a public hearing for Sheridan County’s proposed fiscal year 2013-2014 budget. No one from the public attended the hearing, which was opened at 5 p.m. and closed at 5:01 p.m.

Board chair Steve Maier expressed his appreciation to all those who helped put together a budget that trimmed 1.3 percent — just over $200,000 — off of last year’s budget, noting that since fiscal year 2009 the county has reduced its budget by 38 percent.

“I think all things considered, we feel pretty good,” Maier said, following the meeting. “We’ve been able to operate without having to go into reserves the way we did last year. We’re dealing with less revenue again. We’re really struggling to provide a high level of service, and we continue to have that as our primary goal, along with not reducing our workforce.”

Maier said that the state retirement system is requiring additional revenue from the employer and/or employee this year. Traditionally the county has covered the entire employee contribution to the retirement system, but this year that contribution will be split with the employees. Health insurance costs also increased approximately 5 percent. The county will split the cost of that increase with employees.

“The take-home pay for our employees is going to decline again this year, and that’s unfortunate,” Maier said.

The county will not change staffing levels. However, if positions become vacant, they will be evaluated and alternatives will be considered, Maier said.

Budgeted revenue is $14,021,200 and budgeted expenditures are $15,765,665. Cash on hand is approximately $1.7 million and reserves are listed at approximately $6.8 million in the budget. The county did not dip into reserve funds to balance the budget.

County commissioners were slated to give final approval to the fiscal year 2013-2014 budget at a meeting Tuesday.

About

Hannah Wiest is the government and outdoors reporter for The Sheridan Press. She has lived in Colorado and Montana but loves her sunny home state of Wyoming best. She joined The Press staff in February 2013.

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