Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Area News

July 11, 2014

Panel OKs county budget

CROSSVILLE — The Cumberland County Budget Committee wrapped up its budget work and approved its $23.5 million fiscal year 2014-’15 general fund budget during Tuesday’s meeting.

The full Cumberland County budget will now go the Cumberland County Commission for its consideration during its July 21 monthly meeting.

“This budget, we believe, reflects all the actions of this committee during its budget deliberations,” Cumberland County Finance Director said.

The budget requires no property tax increase.

The BOE’s budget was approved by the committee and includes $16,930,769 in revenue from the county. The county’s state-required funding amount for the Basic Education Program (BEP) is $16,744,000.

Allen Foster, 4th District commissioner, made a motion to approve the BOE’s $50.8 million budget as presented. Foster’s motion was supported by Terry Carter, 6th District commissioner. It was approved unanimously.

There are two resolutions included in the BOE budget that list $208,841 as a one-time distribution and not to be included in the county’s future maintenance of effort (obligation of funding).

Total estimated revenues for the Cumberland County General Fund fiscal year 2014-’15 budget are listed at $21,923,751.

Total estimated expenditures are listed at $23,496,109. The county’s beginning fund balance for fiscal year 2013-’14 was listed at $6,978,159. With using $1.572 million from that for the 2014-’15 budget, it leaves an estimated ending fund balance of $5,405,802.

Ninth District Commissioner Carmin Lynch, who does not serve on the committee but attended the meeting, questioned $14,000 in the Chancery Court budget and commissioners decided to remove it because it had been budgeted there for three years and not used.

Mike Harvel, 7th District commissioner, moved to take the funds out and Dave Hassler, 3rd District commissioner, supported the motion and it was approved.

Lynch said he had $212,000 worth of questioning in the budget that he felt should be reviewed.

“You haven’t looked at the full budget and you’re just going to approve?” Lynch asked. “There are all kinds of things in here that haven’t been looked at.”

Harry Sabine, 1st District commissioner and budget committee chairman, said, “It’s already been approved (not as a whole) but in previous meetings.”

Sabine said if they were going to go back through the entire budget again “we could be here until August.”

Lynch said he would bring up the concerns during the public hearing before the budget is approved.

In reviewing the general fund budget, Brock pointed out some of the highlight items and expenditures.

A revision of the county-wide pay scale will eliminate the bottom step and move all county employees on the pay scale one step forward, which is roughly a $600 per year salary increase.

Part-time employees are to receive a 20-cent per hour increase if they were employed by the county before June 30. Employees who are topped-out, or above the 20-year range on the pay scale, will also receive a $600 per year salary increase.

In all, the salary increases will cost approximately $280,000.

Lynch asked Brock if the action would require a resolution since they were changing the pay scale.

“I don’t believe so. We are not changing any of the positions,” Brock replied.

“I don’t see it either. I think we’re done here,” Sabine said.

Also included in the general fund budget is $461,150 in a capital outlay list. Bigger items on that list include four new patrol cars for the sheriff’s department at $152,000; two ambulance remounts/reconditioned at $140,000, several county maintenance items of repair in county buildings and $10,000 for the purchase of a bucket lift truck for the county maintenance department.

New positions in the county include one full-time library security/maintenance position, one full-time position at the Cumberland County animal shelter and one part-time to full-time position in the Veterans Service Office. All positions are being partially funded by a reduction in the part-time lines of those departmental budgets. The positions at the animal shelter and VSO are split cost between the county and city of Crossville.

Additional part-time positions were also added for the election commission and Cumberland County Community Complex. Brock said there was no increase in insurance costs for employees this year, but there was an increase in retirement contribution costs.

Brock also pointed out there was a $20,000 contribution approved for the Fairfield Glade Fire Department for the purchase of gear.

Nancy Hyder, 2nd District commissioner, made a motion to approve the general fund as presented. Terry Carter, 6th District commissioner, supported the motion and it was approved unanimously.

Commissioners on the budget committee also approved the same property tax rate and tax penny distribution as last fiscal year’s budget, which was $1.4975.

According to the tax penny distribution, the general fund will receive 0.5650 cents; the sanitation department will receive 0.1125 cents; the General Purpose School Fund will receive 0.6250 cents; and the debt service fund will receive 0.1950 cents.

It was approved after a motion was made by Carter to leave the rate and distribution the same as last year. It was supported by Dave Hassler, 3rd District commissioner. It was unanimously approved.

Also approved were several funds in the county, including the debt service fund with total estimated revenues of $4,896,013 and expenditures of $4,736,730, leaving an ending fund balance of $10,240,968.

The Cumberland County Highway Fund was approved with total revenues of $2,562,168 and expenditures of $2,886,695 and an ending fund balance of $452,093.

The Cumberland County Railroad Authority fund was approved with $400,000 of total revenues and $400,000 in expenditures, leaving an ending fund balance of $47,200.

The Cumberland County Drug Fund from the sheriff’s department was approved with $14,000 in revenues and total estimated expenditures at $69,225, leaving an ending fund balance of $188,628.

The sanitation fund was also approved with total estimated revenues of $2,149,340 and expenditures of $2,666,170, leaving an ending fund balance of $614,307. This includes the purchase of two new trucks for waste pickup at approximately $350,000, as well as a set of scales at approximately $50,000 for weighing waste and recycling items for the county’s single stream recycling line.

The Courthouse Maintenance Fund was also approved with estimated revenues of $55,000 and expenditures of $26,000, leaving an ending fund balance of $165,559.

Before any of the actions of the budget committee go into effect, the entire 2014-’15 fiscal year budget must be approved by the Cumberland County Commission.

The county commission is scheduled to vote on the budget during its July monthly meeting July 21 at 6 p.m. The meeting will be in the large courtroom in the Cumberland Courthouse. The public is welcome to attend.


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