County drafts $20.5 million budget
By GREG STAHL
Express Staff Writer
The Blaine County Commission on Monday
unanimously approved a $20.5 million preliminary budget for the county’s
2003-2004 fiscal year. Commissioner Sarah Michael was absent from the meeting.
The budget represents a $787,880 reduction
from last year’s final financial blueprint.
The difference lies, primarily, in money
the county set aside last year for the new "courthouse annex" project, which is
under construction across from the Old County Courthouse. This year’s budget
includes roughly $2 million less than the previous year in a "building and
grounds" line item, which includes courthouse annex expenses.
The remainder of the budget includes
predictable "cost-of-living" increases in most departments, as well as new
outlays totaling $153,764 for emergency 911 improvements and $50,000 in planning
expenses for a new county jail.
With preliminary adoption on Monday, the
budget can now only be reduced. Final adoption is scheduled for the Board’s
Sept. 2 meeting.
The County Commission also unanimously
adopted a $1.2 million preliminary budget for the Blaine County Ambulance
As per state law, the budgets will be
printed in the county’s newspaper of record, the Idaho Mountain Express, twice
in the coming month before the final adoption hearing.