County looks for ways to cut next budget

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Some minor changes expected for next fiscal year

By Molly Haines

Officials are saying some minor cuts could be seen throughout the 2010-2011 Owen County budget.

The Owen County Fiscal Court held a special workshop April 19 to look over a draft budget for the upcoming fiscal year which begins July 1.

Owen County Judge-executive Carolyn Keith said the court is looking at the budget section by section to see where possible cuts could be made.

Keith said so far the draft budget has no significant changes from last year’s budget.

The court did agree to cut funds for new tile flooring at the Owen County Life Squad building.

Keith said $4,000 had been set aside in the draft ambulance budget for the flooring and to paint the interior walls of the building.

The court is looking to cut the amount back to $1,000 for painting the interior walls.

“The carpet in that building has been there ever since it was built,” Keith said. “The tile flooring would be easier to maintain but we’ll have to hold off on that for right now.”

Keith said the interior walls of the building have not been painted since the building was built.

“We’ll keep the $1,000 to purchase paint and the employees who work at that building will be painting the interior walls,” Keith said.

The court is also looking at fees paid to various organizations to which the county belongs.

“We’re looking at some of the organizations that are not essential to the operation of the county,” Keith said. “We cannot cut our membership to (Kentucky Association of Counties). We must be a member of that for our liability insurance. It’s cheaper to obtain their liability insurance than anywhere else.”

Keith said the Deputy Commissioner of Local Government Junior Wright is sitting in with the court while they hold budget workshops.

“He lives here in Owen County,” Keith said. “He previously worked in budgets and I asked him to be a part of these workshops because I knew he could offer us a lot of insight as to where we should make cuts.”

Keith said most counties do not hold workshops to discuss the budget, but instead a draft budget is made and presented to the courts.

“I think the budget workshops held last year and now this year have allowed the court to know what’s in the budget,” Keith said. “Norma (McDonald) is there with the actual income and that’s a big help.”

Owen County Treasurer Norma McDonald said the deadline for a first reading on a proposed budget is June 1.

A special meeting of the fiscal court was held before the budget workshop.

The court selected the New Liberty-Sparta bridge for maintenance as part of the state’s 80/20 county bridge replacement program.

The court also approved the ambulance monitor service agreement for the new equipment the Owen County Life Squad recently obtained.

The Owen County Fiscal Court held a second budget workshop Tuesday.