BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
MONTROSE – The Lee County portion of your tax levy may be bumped up a smidge as they strive for a balanced budget in the 2017-2018 fiscal year.
Supervisor Don Hunold suggested resetting the levy to the current 2016-2017 level instead of the slight decrease that had been proposed with the budget.
The county levy for 2018 is being projected at $10.372 per $1,000 assessed valuation with revenue generation at $11,671,396. In 2017, the levy was $10.388 per $1,000 and generated $11,572,060.
“What if we just pushed the levy back to the current level of $10.38? That’s about another 1.5 cents per $1000. I think that would be enough maybe to fix the problem,” Hunold said.
“I got about $10,900 out of the board budget. There are two funds, Mental Health and Debt service, that we wanted to lower the funds. So those will show a negative. When I figure those out we’re at about $1.2 million short for the year,” said County Budget Director Cindy Renstrom.
The board discussed pulling one of the proposed new county sheriff’s deputies and the proposed part-time correctional officer. But after a lengthy discussion the board decided to not pull those and examined the possibility of the increased levy.
“We did ask all the department heads to drop their budgets by 1% and that amounted to $266,000 which would drop it below a million,” Renstrom said.
“If you allow them to do that 1% I don’t think that would devastate anyone,” Larkin said.
The board is meeting again on Thursday at the supervisors’ meeting room in the North Lee County offices.
According to Renstrom’s fund balance sheet, she is projecting a 2017 fiscal year total fund balance of $12.125,408 and she’s budgeting for a $1,572,571 loss in the funds at the end of fiscal year 2018 for a net ending balance of approximately $10.55 million.
Highlighting the top expenditure estimates for 2018 is the general basic fund which has expenditure totals of $11.08M, Secondary Roads at $6.85M and $1.01M in debt service. Six funds are expected to take a loss in 2018, General Basic, MH-DD Services, Attorney Fine Collection Fund, Sheriff Commissary Fund, Records Management and Debt Service. Rural Basic services is showing a $322,000 surplus.