Adams County’s supervisors still crunching the numbers

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 31, 2001

Adams County Supervisors sat down with pencils in hand Monday morning and began sifting through the figures of next year’s budget.

In the second of several budget meetings, supervisors met with Count Administrator Charlie Brown to craft the county’s budget for fiscal year 2001-2002.

&uot;We’re just seeing what we’re going to allow and what we’re not going to allow,&uot; said Supervisor Thomas &uot;Boo&uot; Campbell. &uot;Everybody wants money, and everybody wants pay raises. We haven’t finalized anything.&uot;

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Supervisor Sammy Cauthen said pay raises aren’t on the table this early in the process.

&uot;We don’t consider that until we get to the end of the process,&uot; he said.

Supervisors must have the budget approved by Sept. 15, Cauthen said.

Campbell said the budgetary considerations haven’t changed much this year.

&uot;It’s the same as it is every year, we’re trying to hold down taxes,&uot; he said.

Cauthen said supervisors are &uot;way too early&uot; in the budgetary process to determine if a tax increase will be necessary.

&uot;I’m looking forward to not having one,&uot; he said. &uot;You don’t like to make it an option.&uot;

Last year, the county increased taxes by 1.95 mills to bring the rate up to 56.76 mills.

Cauthen estimated next year’s budget would end up being about $12 million in the general fund – or roughly the same as this year.

The tax increase helped add more money to the road department’s budget, give county employees pay raises and help fund the construction and operations of the new juvenile justice center.

The juvenile justice facility was scheduled to be complete by now, but remains under construction after a variety of delays.

Adams County Youth Court Judge John Hudson said when it opens the facility will cost the county about $350,000 per year.

Hudson said the center was &uot;hard for people to fathom from an expense standpoint.&uot;

&uot;We’ve basically been breaking the law for year,&uot; he said, referring to the county’s practice of housing juvenile offenders at the Adams County Jail. State law changed and now requires juvenile offenders to be housed separately.

The state gave the county special permission to continue this practice, Hudson said, so long as the county was working on building a new facility.

&uot;It’s not a question of whether it’s new cost versus old cost,&uot; he said, adding the county is already incurring cost to house the juveniles at the jail and for transporting juveniles out of the county. &uot;The bottom line is, if (the state) had told us we couldn’t put a kid in the Adams County Jail, we’d have been paying $350,000 anyway.&uot;