County outlines budget cuts

Published 10:32 pm Monday, April 6, 2009

The Chilton County Commission began implementing an 8-percent across-the-board budget cut Monday by approving reductions in its own office.

Cuts made in the commission office exceeded the goal by about $10,000 and totaled more than $78,000.

The decisions were made in a special called meeting attended by county department heads.

“It’s going to be tough,” Commission chairman Tim Mims said. “But these cuts are based on good, solid figures.”

Cuts made to the commission office included:

$10,000 in legal services

$1,000 in office supplies

$1,000 in repairs and maintenance

$10,000 in postage

$3,000 in advertising

$1,800 in room and meals during educational trips

$14,500 in courthouse repairs and maintenance

$9,600 in court reporters

$1,800 in airport

$25,000 in juvenile services

$400 in Alabama Cooperative Extension Service

The commission will likely approve the proposed cuts from each department head at its next regular meeting scheduled for Monday, April 13 at 9 a.m. All departments but the Sheriff’s Department and Probate Office have submitted proposed budgets.

The submission from the Probate Office was delayed due to a family emergency that affected a clerk in that office. Chilton County Sheriff Kevin Davis, on the other hand, said he wasn’t sure where he was going to make the cuts.

Tax Assessor Tom Powers said he had just $13,000 in his budget for the remainder of the fiscal year.

“If a computer goes out, it’s out for the rest of the year,” Powers said.

Commission Administrator Vanessa Hendrick assured the department heads that going on emergency spending early in the fiscal year would give the county a head start toward offsetting the shortfall.

Accountant Janice Hull told the commission they did what they were recommended and what was fair.

“I’d rather see you make this difficult decision now [than later],” Hull said.

The commission will revisit the budget in three months and decide at that time whether to continue to impose the 8-percent reductions.