Commission hopes to pass budget next week

Published 2:57 pm Friday, September 25, 2015

With just a few days left before the upcoming fiscal year begins, the Chilton County Commission is hoping to pass a budget next week.

“We are very close,” Commission Chairman Allen Caton said on Friday. “We are still trying to find out about some figures here and there, but we are getting close.”

Caton said commissioners have scheduled a work session beginning at 4 p.m. for Sept. 28 to go over the budget, and could pass the budget during the regularly scheduled commission meeting at 6 p.m.

If the budget is not passed Sept. 28, Caton said commissioners could adjourn the meeting on Monday and re-adjourn on Sept. 30 to pass the budget.

“We may pass it on Monday night; I just don’t know,” Caton said. “It would be great if we could.”

Caton said he anticipates the budget being similar to the 2014-2015 budget.

“The only way we can increase revenue is to increase taxes,” Caton said regarding ways the county could get additional revenue.

Commissioners passed a budget in 2014 of about $14.5 million, which was down from the 2013 budget of roughly $15.3 million.

In 2014, commissioners started holding budget hearing work sessions with county department heads.

The purpose of the meetings was for commissioners to meet with the department heads and discuss their budgets.

Caton said commissioners had similar meetings this year with department heads, and he thinks the meetings are helpful.

“I think it is good for us to be able to meet with the different department heads and find out what is going on with their departments,” Caton said.

In 2013, all departments in the county saw an increase in their budgets, but the increase was based on an across-the-board cost of living pay increase to county employees by 3 percent the commission approved in January 2013.

The monetary raise was the first for some employees in eight years, and the 2013-2014 budget covered the monetary raises for the employees.