News and Tribune

October 9, 2012

Floyd council forced to cut $900K from 2013 budget

Floyd County police officers, county preliminarily agree on new contract

By CHRIS MORRIS
chris.morris@newsandtribune.com

NEW ALBANY — The Floyd County Council has one week to figure out how to cut $900,000 from its proposed 2013 budget.

Tuesday night at a special work session, the council debated and discussed ways to make cuts after it was announced the Department of Local Government Finance expects to approve a budget of a little more than $11 million for Floyd County for 2013. The county approved a preliminary budget, minus the $4 million in CAGIT funds which will be in a separate account, of $12 million.

“We have to do more cutting folks,” said Floyd County Council President Ted Heavrin. “If we send it up there the way it is, they will make the cuts for us.”

Former county auditor Teresa Plaiss, who works in the Floyd County Planner’s office, is working with Auditor Darin Coddington in preparing the budget. She said it’s important to make the cuts now, and not wait for the state to do so in the middle of next year when some money may already be spent.

At first, council members thought they had to cut as much as $5 million from the $16 million budget submitted. However, Plaiss explained that $4 million will taken out of the general fund and be placed in a CAGIT account  and will be available to the council at the beginning of the year.

During the discussion, Councilman Brad Striegel was not getting the answers he was looking for.

“So how much needs to be cut? I am asking a simple question and not getting any answers,” he said.

Heavrin told members that individual office-holders will have to see their budgets cut, some in half, to start the year with the understanding they can ask for additional appropriations in the middle of the year.

“Give them enough to get started, to carry them through until June,” he said. “Then they can come back.”

Certified budgets need to be turned in to the DLGF by Nov. 1. The council will hold a budget work session at 5 p.m. Oct. 16 at the Pine View Government Center. At 5 p.m. Oct. 18, the council will vote on the 2013 budget.

Due to over-appropriations, the county’s rainy-day fund is empty until likely the first of the year, Coddington said. All additional appropriations will have to come out of riverboat or economic development income tax funds.



County officers to see pay raise

Next month, the council is expected to vote on a new three-year contract for Floyd County Sheriff’s Office officers. The cost to the county will be $52,000 for three years beginning in 2013. Each officer will receive a $1,000 pay increase a year starting next year.

Floyd County Sheriff Darrell Mills told the council that he receives federal dollars for housing and for having his officers walk inmates to the Lee Hamilton Federal Building, next to the Floyd County jail, for court proceedings. He said he is ready to take on another 15 inmates which will add an additional $230,000 to the general fund each year. He said that more than pays for the pay increase for the officers.