County budget nears approval

A just over $15 million budget has been developed to fund Glades County government for the 2016-2017 fiscal year.

The plan reduces spending by $316,637, and raises the amount of property taxes collected by $83,237 or 2 percent this year.

The county unrestricted reserves would also decline by $611,536 if the budget is approved, a reduction of 10 percent.

12815076004_bf5101b581_bAd valorem taxes raised for 2016-2017 would total $4.92 million. Payment in lieu of taxes from the state for the Moore Haven Correctional facility would remain at $212,561. Total revenues would increase by $155,928 from last year or 1.8 percent. Projected revenues total $8.72 million.

The line items in the budget include $10,633 for the State Attorney’s Office, $10,665 for the public defender, $20,568 for court administration, $1,200 for the county judge, $53,913 for the probation department, $139,128 for the health department, $22,080 for Hope Connections, $5,600 for Sunrise Community, $81,058 for the district medical examiner, $4,000 for soil conservation, $24,000 for Good Wheels Transportation and $36,560 for the Glades County Economic Development Council.

The budget also includes $126,500 for the county auditor and $85,000 for the county attorney. The county manager budget would total $158,484, BOCC technology improvements would cost $90,424, Human resources $55,666, the County Agent $102,635, the library $78,686, planning and zoning $140,914, code enforcement $41,426, community services $180,940, emergency management $52,116, and EMS $1.11 million, an increase of 19 percent, most due to overtime and retirement costs. Health insurance costs rose for county employees by 6.1 percent.

The EMS budget included $251,150 for administration, $294,865 for the general fire department, $3,000 for the Lakeport Fire Department, $10,500 for Buckhead Ridge Fire, $1,700 for South Glades Fire, $2,500 for Muse Fire, $3,300 for Moore Haven Fire, $2,000 for Ortona, and $62,636 for animal control.

The maintenance department budget would total $165,729. The court house would receive $121,910, the Doyle Conner building $19,045, the new health department building $40,200, the jail building $6,500, the Lakeport Community Center $3,200, the Buckhead Ridge Community Center $8,300, Palmdale Community Center $2,600, Washington Park Community Center $3,000, Muse $3,000, Ortona $3,500, and the job training center $25,000. The EOC building will receive $27,300.

The budget also included $27,262 for the cemetery, $40,775 for boat ramps and parks, $245,187 for the supervisor of elections, $449,455 for the tax collector, $600,892 for property appraiser, and $3.28 million for the Sheriff’s office. That budget increased by $136,849, or four percent. A salary hike is included for all sheriff’s department. The clerk of the court budget totaled $424,295.

Special to Glades County Democrat

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