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For the week of August 6 - 12, 2003


County drafts $20.5 million budget

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 District.

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.



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