County closes out FY19, approves FY20 budget

Board of Supervisors
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     Jones County’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget was finalized during the March 12 Board of Supervisors meeting. The board also amended the FY 2019 budget.

     A public hearing was held on the proposed FY 2020 budget. County Auditor Janine Sulzner explained there is no change in the county’s levy rate from last year at $5.93 per $1,000. The rural tax levy rate is $2.66 per $1,000.

     The county’s expenditures are approximately $21 million, which is a $1.6 million increase from FY 2019. Revenue is expected at $17 million.

     On the expenditure side, 38 percent make up wages and benefits.

     Forty-six percent of the revenue stems from county taxes.

     Of the entire county budget, 32 percent encompasses roads/transportation.

     The board adopted the FY 2020 budget on a 4-1 vote, with Supervisor Wayne Manternach opposed.

     “I don’t agree with the $450,000 on the debt service levy,” spoke Manternach. “In the beginning, we had projects that needed to get done, and we accomplished that. I didn’t see it as a yearly solution to our needs.”

     Manternach said the funding should go back to the county taxpayers.

     Supervisor Joe Oswald disagreed. “We still have projects that need to get done. It will take an increase in property taxes down the road if we don’t do it now.”

     “Anything put off will cost us more money in the long run,” added Supervisor Lloyd Eaken.

     Supervisor Ned Rohwedder, who was initially against the $450,000 debt service, said he’s since changed his mind. “I see the advantage of doing it.”

     Sulzner clarified that, yes, the debt service was extended longer than it was thought at first. However. The scope of projects the money can be spent on is limited.

     “As long as we spend the money wisely,” added Oswald.

     With the budget approval, the board also set the county’s elected officials’ salaries for FY 2020. The Compensation Board previously recommended a 4.5 percent across the board. The board approved a 2.75 percent increase for all elected officials, and a 2.5 percent increase for themselves. The voted passed 4-1, with Manternach, again, opposed.

     The FY 2020 salaries are as follows:

     • County Attorney, $99,561.60

     • Auditor, $68,651.07

     • Recorder, $63,795.52

     • Sheriff, $88,577.38

     • Treasurer, $66,584.76

     • Supervisors, $30,000.53

     The board also amended the FY 2019 budget, which reduces the original appropriations, but does not result in an increase is taxes.

     The following department budgets saw reductions:

     • Conservation Capital Projects – the original appropriation was $143,040. The total reduction is $54,800 (to reflect the change in construction activities for the Mon Maq Dam and Lost Canyon projects).

     • Central Park Lake Project – the original appropriation was $918,583. The total reduction is $118,583 (to reflect the change in timing of county-funded construction activities to complete the lake restoration project).

     • Mental Health Services – the original appropriation was $696,626. The reduction is $177,906 (to reflect a notice from the mental health region that the full amount of funds budgeted will not be needed by the region for services in the current fiscal year).

     • Capital Projects – the original appropriation was $450,000. The reduction is $162,320 (to reflect the change in timing to improvement projects planned for the courthouse and other county facilities. Funds will be reserved to be spent in FY 2020.).

     The total FY 2019 budget amendment reflects $20,404,431 of total revenues, and $21,803,808 of total expenditures.



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