Friday, August 4, 2006

County nailing down budget

Express Staff Writer

Blaine County's budget for the 2006-2007 fiscal year is expected to top out at about $21.5 million, which is a $1.5 million decrease from last year's $23 million budget.

County commissioners will review and likely approve the budget during a final hearing Monday at 3 p.m. in the Old County Courthouse in Hailey.

County Commissioner Tom Bowman said the $1.5 million budget decrease is due in part to plans for the new county jail falling through. The project was effectively terminated by 5th District Judge Barry Wood last month.

While the Sheriff's Office won't get a new jail this year, it will likely get a new deputy in Carey. The position will cost the county $39,062 next year, but could help boost revenues due to increased traffic ticket revenues.

Other highlights to the budget will likely include a $1 million justice fund to help secure funding for justice infrastructure, $1.5 million for solid waste, and a yet-to-be-determined amount of money to ensure the county's new "enhanced 911" system operates correctly.

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