The Grundy County Commission adopted the 2019 county budget on a vote of two to one on Tuesday morning.
The budget estimates revenues of $4,693,199 and estimates expenditures of $5,195,618 which leaves a projected deficit of $502,419.
First District Commissioner Don Sager voted against adopting the budget due to the large projected deficit. Second District Commissioner Joe Brinser said even though there was a projected deficit, the fund balance is still expected to be positive. Grundy County expects to have an estimated year-end balance of $2,814,076.
The budget includes increases in medical insurance of 5.8%, worker compensation of 21.9%, liability insurance of 8%, and building and contents insurance of 9.7% as well as a 25-cent per hour raise for all employees.
A total of $1,421,604 of the anticipated expenditures for 2019 are for the ambulance fund. The ambulance fund expenditures include employment wages of more than $379,900, part-time pay of $55,000, and $207,000 for overtime with $50,000 budgeted for new equipment.
Presiding Commissioner Phillip Ray said many ambulance districts are re-evaluating wages and service rates due to call volume and rate increases. Grundy County is at the lower end on rates currently, taking into account demographics and longer transports to hospitals, which means different treatments provided in an ambulance.
Ray reported the commission did not discuss increased security at the courthouse with Brinser noting the courtroom remodel has been put on hold, but $10,000 was budgeted for the project. Ray said the commission must “walk a fine line” with taking care of business and employees with the cost of products increasing. It is difficult to find ways to increase revenues at the county level.
Brinser reported he plans to look into ways to increase revenue for the county with Sager saying some funds would have to be cut in the future if revenues do not increase. County Clerk Betty Spickard commented she does not remember ever being “in the red” since she took her position but the budget “always seems to work itself out”.