The budget, which was made public on December 9, received no public comments, and no changes in expenditures were requested during the review period. Commissioner Paul Heimel cited thorough coverage of the budget in local media as a possible explanation for the limited number of public questions regarding the budget.
The budget includes a 1 mill tax hike as a result of an increase in county criminal justice and jail costs, as well as a reduction in the county’s pension portfolio. Jail costs alone are predicted to rise from $1,000,000 this year to $1,400,000 in 2012. The county is required by law to contribute any necessary funds to the pension account if it falls below a pre-determined level.
The commissioners also approved the abolishment of a full-time and part-time Secretary/Clerk II, Class III position. The elimination of the positions comes as the result of an effort to streamline operations during a time when counties are feeling a crunch from a lack of state funding. We will have more on this matter in a later article.
The commissioners also approved the resignation of; Bert Obleski, PCHS part-time Van Driver, effective December 16; Roger Preble, part-time Jail Guard, effective December 26; and Sheila Gabreski, Cooperative Extension Part-time Secretary/Clerk, effective December 31.
The next meeting of the commissioners is Jan. 12 at 11:00 am in the Gunzberger Building.