by Ivan Foley
Disregarding the recommendation of the county auditor, the Platte County Commission’s proposed budget for 2016 includes a one percent salary increase for county employees.
The county auditor’s recommended budget had called for a 1.5% pay increase for employees.
The commission’s also includes additional recommended salary increases for assistant prosecutors in the office of Eric Zahnd, county prosecutor.
As The Landmark reported earlier this month, Zahnd had asked that each of his nine full time assistant prosecutors be given a $4,000 salary increase. His one part-time assistant prosecutor is scheduled for a $2,000 salary increase.
In addition, the county commission’s proposed budget grants a request to increase staffing in the county assessor’s office by one full time employee.
Dropping the amount of the salary increase from 1.5% to 1% means $47,000 less in gross wages than the auditor had recommended.
The county commission budgeted based on sales and use tax revenue equal to what came in during the 2013 year.
In 2015, county sales/use tax collections, the primary sources of general fund revenue for the county, came in at 1.2% greater than 2014.
Cash carryover in the commission’s proposed 2016 budget is $1,190,553, using cash projections as of Dec. 21.
The commission is proposing $100,000 in the general fund to go into a contingency account for unforeseen or unanticipated expenses.
Additionally, the commission is creating a Law Enforcement Reserve Fund. This fund is at the request of the commission and was not included in the budget proposed by Kevin Robinson, county auditor.
The purpose of the law enforcement reserve fund will be to set aside a portion of the cash carryover for future law enforcement projects, such as completing the basement area of the county jail to increase the inmate capacity, refresh the recently updated emergency radio system, and for future law enforcement projects.
The commission’s 2016 proposed budget includes a transfer of $500,000 from the general fun to this newly created law enforcement reserve fund.
Also, the commission’s proposed budget includes transferring $692,000 to the capital projects fund.
The county commission’s proposed budget will be the topic of a public hearing on Monday, Jan. 4 at 10 a.m. during the commission meeting at the Platte County Administrative Building.
Following the public hearing, the commission is expected to approve its proposed budget, noting any changes that may arise during the public hearing.