Leaders asked to keep eye on budgets

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 30, 2004

County Commissioners asked county officeholders Thursday to keep a close eye on spending, especially in the immediate future.

"It seems like this time of year we always have a problem," Commissioner Jason Stephens said. "Property taxes have not been posted yet, we had three payrolls in January, and the cash flow is a little narrow. We need to let everyone know this. There is no sense in overreacting but they need to keep a tight rein on the budget. If everyone works together we'll be fine."

If everyone does not work together, Commissioner George Patterson said the proverbial carrot may be replaced with the proverbial stick.

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"Like Jason said, if everyone works together we'll be fine. If we can't see cooperation then we may have to put on a spending freeze or a moratorium."

This year's budget must also accommodate two elections - the primary that was in march and the general election in November, necessities that put another line item in the county's budget.

State law requires that county workers be paid bi-weekly, as opposed to twice monthly or monthly. The bi-weekly payroll method means that there are times when three pay periods fall in a month, creating 27, instead of 26 annual payrolls. Commissioners said the extra pay period this year will cost the county approximately $300,000.