After some trimming, Brown County commissioners on Tuesday approved a provisional 2012 budget totaling $23.42 million.
The budget, though, will almost certainly change before it's given final approval sometime before Oct. 1. But it provides the framework for next year's spending.
Of the total, $14.87 million is from the consolidated general fund, which is mostly property tax money. Last year, commissioners approved a $22.28 million budget with $14.68 million from the consolidated general fund.
A public budget hearing will be Sept. 6.
Budget requests for 2012 from departments and agencies totaled $24.58 million, so commissioners cut about $1.16 million. The provisional budget would leave them with roughly $1.11 million in reserves.
Requests from many county departments were trimmed 5 percent in the provisional budget.
The road and bridge budget is $4.1 million, the largest in the overall budget. That's about $625,000 more than this year. The highway department expects $430,000 in extra revenue next year from higher license fees. That amount is already included in the department's 2012 budget. The bulk of the remainder of the increase will be used for increasing salaries.
Requests for new vehicles from the Emergency Management Department (roughly $60,000) and Planning and Zoning Department (roughly $30,000) were cut. Another $30,000 was trimmed from the Extension budget. Commissioner Burt Elliott found the Extension cut too high and voted against the provisional budget. Commissioner Tom Fischbach did not vote because he had to leave the meeting early.
In other action during Tuesday's meeting, the commission:
·Approved increasing the fee to get a liquor license from $25,000 to $40,000. The county has one open license. The deadline to apply is Oct. 31.
·Approved, as is required annually, setting the number of liquor licenses allowed based on population at eight in rural Brown County and set the fees for various alcoholic beverage licenses.
·Set the fees for various temporary alcoholic beverage licenses. The fee for temporary malt beverage and wine licenses is $150; a temporary liquor license is $200; a nonprofit agency is $50.
A similar ordinance was passed in recent weeks but did not include the fee for a temporary wine license.
·Learned from Ted Dickey, of the Northeast Council of Governments, that a formal cost estimate is needed before the county can apply for a hazard mitigation grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to raise County Road 23 in southwest Brown County.
Highway officials would like to raise 1,600 feet of the road west of County Road 6 by 3 feet. Dickey said he did some checking and learned that, with riprap, the work would likely cost between $1.5 million and $2 million. Without riprap, the project would cost between $750,000 and $1 million, he said. Commissioners said it wouldn't make sense to do the work without riprap.
If the county gets a FEMA grant, it would have to pay 25 percent of the cost of the work, Dickey said.
Duane Jark of Stratford asked about the prospect of raising County Road 23 between Warner and Stratford. But, Jan Weismantel, highway superintendent, said that stretch is in a flood zone, so it's unlikely FEMA would allow the work.
·Approved previous meeting minutes, claims, payroll, routine personnel changes and two rezonings.
·Met in closed session to discuss litigation.