Burgess gives budget update

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By Arin McKenna

County Administrator Harry Burgess provided the council with its first quarterly financial report (financial reports have been every six months in the past).

Although the report is still unaudited, it offers some good news regarding the county’s budget.
Departments were asked to decrease spending by 10 percent.

Small departments with minimal budgets and those such as the fire department with contractual obligations were unable to reach that goal, but a concerted effort has brought spending in at 13 percent below the FY2013 revised budget for the general fund, which was itself $1.3 million less than the FY2012 actual budget.

The savings amounts to $6.8 million to the general fund.

“This brings us in at 87 percent of budget. We met and exceeded the goal we established, and did that in the last six months of the year,” Burgess said.

Departments outside the general fund are 20-percent below the projected budget, which brings county-wide expenditures to only 81 percent of the countywide budget for FY2013.

“I just want to express my appreciation for all the county staff from the directors all the way down to the linemen who participated in the effort to reduce our expenditures over the last six months, because this was a significant challenge and the staff rose to the challenge,” Burgess said.

“This also allows us to move forward, as we did budget with an anticipated 10-percent reduction for this fiscal year, carrying that budget forward into this year puts us on track for what we established as the FY14 process.”