Friday, September 3, 2010

County to discuss budget, yurts

Final budget due Sept. 7

Express Staff Writer

Blaine County will know how much it expects to spend and where the money is coming from on Tuesday, when the County Commissioners will set the final budget for fiscal year 2011.

The tentative expenditures for the next fiscal year were approved Aug. 2, and included a new human resources position as well as some funding for employee compensation adjustments. Since a tentative budget has already been set, the commissioners can only cut, not increase, spending.

Though revenues have not yet been approved, the commissioners stated they would not take the optional 3 percent increase in county property taxes this year.

This decision came in response to Blaine County voters' approval of a $1.99 million levy to help fund Blaine Manor, a skilled-nursing facility that has been subsidized by the county. The commissioners had stated before the Aug. 3 election that should the levy be approved, they would opt out of any property tax increases for 2011.

Currently, the county is projecting a $98,000 deficit in tax-supported funds. The county will dip into its reserve funds to cover the shortfall.

Also under discussion will be the issue of where yurts and similar structures fall under the Blaine County building code.

While yurts and teepees are technically temporary structures, many homeowners keep them up year-round. How and where these structures should be regulated is expected to form part of Tuesday's discussion.

The public meeting will be held Tuesday, Sept. 7, at 9 a.m. in the Old County Courthouse in Hailey.

Katherine Wutz:

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