York County Commissioners

YORK – The York County budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year has been approved and declared official.

The adoption of the budget took place this week, following a public hearing.

The hearing began at 9:30 a.m. – there was no public comment regarding the proposed budget. The public hearing was closed after no comment was made and the commissioners moved forward.

“There is/will be more staff in corrections (jail), assessor’s office, the public defender’s office . . . so there were some slight increases,” said Commissioner Randy Obermier. “Still, this budget is pretty lean. The levy is just over 22 cents (per $100 of valuation), last year it was just under 21 cents. I think all the department heads did a good job with their budgets and we kept spending down to a reasonable level.”

Obermier and Commissioner Bill Bamesberger, who make up the budget committee, began working on the budget months ago. They worked with all the elected officials and department heads, as well as Contryman (the company who assisted with the budget formulation). Then the board, as a whole, sat down for several work sessions that included the department heads.

On the revenue side of the budget, $1.8 million of unused budgeted funds will be carried over to this year’s budget. Of that $500,000 will be placed in the cash reserves.

For the roads department, on the revenue side, they budgeted an influx of $25,000 in potential FEMA funds (federal dollars for road recovery efforts) – although there is doubt those funds will be realized in this next year as there is so much flood recovery necessary in the state. However, it must be budgeted as possible revenue just in case it is realized.

The county’s total valuation has gone down since last year – it was $3.4 billion last year, this year it is $3.379 billion. The reasoning for the slight decrease in the county’s overall valuation is being attributed to a decrease in agricultural land value.

The clerk’s and treasurer’s budgets are pretty much the same as last year, the commissioners said, with the exception of some higher insurance costs.

There is a slight increase in the assessor’s budget, due to a new employee.

For the election fund, it will go up for the next year because 2020 is the year of a presidential election (which obviously will also include a number of local races). York County Clerk Kelly Turner added that new counting machines might be a possibility for next year and it is unknown at this time if counties will have to participate in that cost.

When it comes to funds associated with district and county courts, it was noted that the amount to be needed in the new fiscal year for court-appointed attorney fees is always an unknown. It was acknowledged, however, that with the creation of the deputy public defender position, some of that cost might be alleviated.

Regarding buildings and grounds, it was noted that there will be expenses in this fiscal year for construction as the addition/renovation project is ongoing. And it was acknowledged that there remains an unknown in what the utility costs will be for the new addition.

For the county extension office, it was noted that the budget slightly decreased, due to one employee no longer taking county insurance.

The sheriff’s budget increased slightly as a very old software program is currently being replaced with a multi-county system. Other than that, the sheriff’s budget is pretty much the same, they said. And the budget includes, as it annually does, the regular rotation of two vehicles from the 10-vehicle fleet.

The county attorney’s budget is pretty much the same, with a slight increase in salaries and insurance.

For the jail budget, there are plans to add one more jailer.

Departments of the surveyor, weed superintendent, veterans support and Handibus will remain about the same.

For the roads department, the expense allowance for gravel and rock was increased, and expenditures for the new year will include a tractor, mower and a motorgrader.

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