Elbert County Commissioner John Metli said about $2 million had to be cut from the county’s 2009 budget. When the county is not growing and there …
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Elbert County Commissioner John Metli said about $2 million had
to be cut from the county’s 2009 budget.
When the county is not growing and there are not any new
businesses, he said, revenues are limited.
And Elbert County is not the only county in Colorado suffering
from the downturn in the economy, he said.
“El Paso County has had over 100 layoffs and Weld County and
other counties are also really hurting,” he said. “We are not the
lone rangers out here and we can only work with what we have.”
After asking department heads to cut costs by at least 10
percent, the Board of County Commissioners on Dec. 10 adopted the
2009 county budget.
Before adoption, each department was required to reduce its
hours and salaries to save jobs and balance the budget.
The general fund’s expected budget is $8.9 million with road and
bridge’s expected budget at $5.3 million and Social Services budget
at $4.3 million for 2009. The contingency fund is expected to have
a $23,880 budget.
Each department took a hit for the 2009 budget with significant
decreases in funds. The clerk and recorder’s 2008 budget was
$458,032 compared to the $409,440 budget for 2009. The Sheriff’s
department’s 2008 budget was $1.1 million compared to their $1
million 2009 budget. The public health department had a major loss
in county funds. Their 2008 budget was $845,979 compared to their
2009 budget at $176,500. The planning department’s 2008 budget was
$323,725 compared to their $286,901 last year.
One portion of the budget that was up for discussion during the
adoption of 2009 budget was the county’s certificate of
participation, which is $550,000. One county resident in particular
was concerned with the amount of the certificate of participation.
Former county commissioner John Dunn was concerned that the
certificate of participation was an additional loan the
commissioners had taken out to balance the 2008 budget.
“I believe they borrowed the money to balance this year’s budget
and because of this, next year’s commissioners will have to pay off
that loan and that is wrong,” he said. “It’s legal but they are
shifting the burden of the half a million dollars to the new
According to commissioner chairman Suzie Graeff, the certificate
of participation is a continuance of the certificate of
participation issued in December of 2006, not an additional one.
She said the county will pay $425,000 toward its annual payment,
and the remaining $125,000 will be used for unexpected expenses the
county might have in the next year.
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