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County looks to keep 2020-21 budget flat
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Warren County government is knee deep in budget discussions for fiscal year 2020-21. The push seems to be keeping operating budgets stationary when compared to the previous year.    

“The state has recommended we keep these budgets as flat as possible this year because we don’t know what we will be facing next year,” said Commissioner Scott Rubley, chair of Budget and Finance. “There are some mandatory increases in the budgets that we can’t do anything about.”

Several budgets were reviewed including Soil Conservation, Trustee, Election Commission, Adult Drug Court, Emergency Management and that of Warren County Animal Control and Adoption Center. 

Receiving the most attention was Animal Control due to an increase of $33,835 from last year.

According to director Sherri Bradley, the majority of those funds will be used to hire two new part-time employees and provide salary increases to current staff.

“I think my staff deserves to have a raise for cost of living,” said Bradley. “Ashely (Bouldin) is undergoing additional training so I think she definitely deserves a raise.”

Bouldin is Bradley’s only full-time employee. Her current salary is $19,760. Proposed is an increase of $5,140 to bring her up to $24,900.

The proposed budget did have a calculation error. The grand total of $190,344 should have been $156,509, a difference of $33,835. Bradley apologized for her miscalculation.

Bradley reported the facility currently houses 13 dogs and 27 cats. 

Committee members rejected the request for additional funds to hire two new part-time staff and provide existing employees with raises.

Rubley did point out some “justified increases” that were allowed to remain.

“Veterinary services, for instances, I see we budgeted last year $12,500 and your estimated expenditures for the year is $13,436 which justifies an increase,” Rubley said. “You’re estimated to go over just a hair on medical supplies so that’s justified. Other supplies and materials you went over as well and that’s the reason for that increase.”

During the 2019-20 fiscal year, a part-time individual was hired without funding within the budget for it and without committee approval. That line item went from $22,295 to cover the salaries of two part-time personal to $45,240 to cover three part-time personnel.

Budget and Finance Committee members approved the amended budget, leaving the justified increases and funding to cover the salary of the part-time person hired without committee approval.

Once all proposed budgets are tentatively approved, they will be combined to create a consolidated budget and compared to estimated revenues for the upcoming year.