Warren County government continues its preparation for the 2021-22 fiscal year budget.
Round three of county Budget and Finance Committee meetings lasted more than an hour and ended with the largest cut being made in the proposed budget of Warren County Sanitation. Director Josh Roberts requested two new trucks at $359,000 out of his existing budget and two salary increases totaling $13,000 within the department’s proposed budget for 2021-22.
“I would like to request to set my salary at $56,081,” said Roberts, of a $6,000 increase. “Clerical personnel, right now she’s at $23,000. I would like to bring her up to $30,000 for additional workload from the Administrative Building. I requested it last year and we couldn’t because of COVID. I would like to see that happen this year.”
Roberts was hired in early 2019 at $50,000 annually. Because commissioners decided against providing employees with a salary increase last year, he remains at $50,000.
“Out of this year’s budget, I’d like to purchase two roll-off trucks and sell the two old trucks,” said Roberts. “We’ve got a ’98 model and a ’94 model Mack roll offs that I’d like to replace. They’ve probably got a million miles apiece on them. We’ve got the good out of them. We’ve got the money because we’re projected to turn in $304,000 at the end of this fiscal year. The rest would come out of our fund balance. We have a very healthy fund balance of $819,000. We have the money in this year’s budget to do this.”
According to Roberts, his fund balance is currently $819,000 and the remaining $55,000 to purchase the trucks would come from that fund.
Budget and Finance Committee members previously approved removal of all salary increases within proposed budgets. Consideration for an across-the-board salary increase will be made at the end of the sessions.
Committee members unanimously approved pulling those two salary increases from the proposed budget, and unanimously approved tabling the request to purchase two new trucks out of the department’s existing budget. Consideration for that purchase will be revisited in June when final numbers are known and not just projections.
“We are not opposed to the purchase,” said Commissioner Tommy Savage. “We do need to wait and see how everything turns out. We’re being cautious.”
Among the other proposed budgets considered during round three were the budgets of Property Assessor, Trustee, County Clerk, Veteran’s Services, Drug Court, Liter Grant, Health Department, Emergency Management Agency, Preservation of Records, and General Welfare Assistance.
Minimal changes were made to those budgets.