County revenue expected to stay the same

Published 1:44 pm Tuesday, September 19, 2017

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Revenues are expected to be flat for Chilton County for the 2018 fiscal year.

The Chilton County Commission received this news on Sept. 19 from County Administrator Crista Madden during a work session.

The state department is projecting the county will receive the same amount of revenue that it did this year.

The commission plans to approve a budget keeping everything the same as last year during its next voting session, knowing it will likely be amende. This was suggested by Commissioner Joseph Parnell since the Commission already knows revenue is going to be flat.

The next voting meeting is the last one before the state deadline to file the budget. Madden said she would not have enough information to draft a budget proposal before the next voting session. Commission Chair Allen Caton said since revenue is flat the only way a department could have an increase would be by taking from somewhere else.

“I don’t think anybody has any room to move anything around as far as I know,” Parnell said.

One expense that is increasing is health insurance. Madden said the health insurance is expected to go up by one and a half percent. The Commission discussed absorbing this into the budget through an amendment. Madden said the insurance company does have a preferred program with a lower premium, but the county does not qualify because it does not keep the number of those who are retired and on the plan at 5 percent of those that are covered by the plan. Caton said the county no longer offers insurance to retirees, except those who have been grandfathered in. Commissioner Jimmie Hardee said he was in favor of Madden checking  into whether the number of those grandfathered in would qualify the county for the preferred rate if they took the insurance.

Madden said she had started comparing compared 2017 fiscal year’s projected revenue with the actual revenue that had been received.

“Our budgeted revenues are going to be close especially in our ad valorem taxes, but I’m not sure that we will be exactly where we budgeted,” Madden said.

Madden said it could be that “it’s in there, it just could have been coded wrong.”

“There are some areas where I am not showing enough revenue and others area a that I am showing too revenue and I think it is probably just in the coding,” Madden said.

Schedules for the coming year were also discussed. The county holiday schedule has been proposed to align with the state holiday schedule, except employees would get a Christmas Eve day instead of a day for Mardi Gras. This year the Friday before Christmas would be the day off, since Christmas Eve is on a Sunday.

A proposed law regarding restrictions for vicious animal was discussed. County Attorney Fletcher Green outlined recent changes to the working document, including an exception for “hoofed animals and non-indigenous animals.” There was some discussion with concerns that this language was too broad. Caton said the commission needs to have a second work session on this. The proposed law would then need to go to the state legislature for approval. Rep. Jimmy Martin would take it to the legislature for consideration. He said the Commission needs to pass a resolution before they give it to him.