Commission levelizes budget, meets deadline

Published 4:02 pm Thursday, September 28, 2017

The Chilton County Commission approved a levelized budget prior to the state deadline during a special meeting on Sept. 27.

After much discussion, a levelized 2017-2018 budget of $16,975,654 was passed with Joe Headley as the only commissioner to oppose.

However, it is important to remember that this is far from the final budget, and is more like the first step in the process than the last.

The budget was passed with the goal of meeting the legal requirements and the ability to amend it in the next couple of months, as administrator Crista Madden narrows down how the rollover money is spread amongst the departments.

“We’ve got to roll up our sleeves and find a way,” Commissioner Joseph Parnell said.

The Commission will vote to go into a period of emergency spending during a special called meeting on Oct. 2 at 8 a.m. Emergency spending will be the only topic voted on during the meeting.

Under emergency spending, all county departments would be required to go through Commission Chairman Allen Caton for approval of all purchase orders.

According to Caton, it is not the first time that the county has gone into emergency spending, having done so four years ago.

Commissioner Jimmie Hardee mentioned a “pet peeve” of his, which was categorizing certain allotments of money as miscellaneous.

Nearly every department has a miscellaneous category, which is something that will be looked at while moving forward to make it clearer where the money is being assigned.

A clearer picture and more official budget standing will come in October and November.

According to Madden, the process of determining a budget typically starts in July.

However, the Commission got a late start this year because they were entrenched for months in a search for an administrator, and Madden was only recently hired.

Madden provided a calming influence in the room during the meeting and believes that the county will be in good shape at the end of the process.