Glades County budget coming together

Glades County Commissioners have made progress this summer on a proposed spending plan for 2015-2016 that likely won’t include a property tax hike and no salary adjustments for employees.

The proposal includes nearly $10.2 in expenditures which would represent an increase of $594,570, or six percent this year.

The County tentatively would collect $4.79 million in ad valorem taxes, a reduction of $14,066 this year. Other revenues would come from payment in lieu of taxes, $212,561, fees fines and services $614,860, Government shared funds $2.33 million, grants $203,153, and miscellaneous funds $255,369.

Expenditures planned include $11,389 for the State Attorney, an increase of seven percent, $8,572 for the public defender an increase of 16 percent, $9,815 for court administration, $1,200 for the County Judge’s office, $50,477 for the Probation department, $139,128 for the health department, and $22,080 for Hope Connections.

The proposed spending plan also includes $4,375 for Sunrise Community, $6,183 for the Medical Examiner in the 20th judicial circuit, $275 for Soil and Water Conservation, $36,560 for the Glades County Economic Development Council, $126,000 for the County Auditor, and $80,000 for the County Attorney Richard Pringle.

Departments under the Board of County Commissioners would receive $717,730. The County Manager’s office budget is $162,224. BOCC technology would cost $69,350. Human Resources would be funded $54,050 and the County Extension Agent funded at $98,461.

The County library budget proposal is $74,481, Code Enforcement $22,428, Community Services $202,600, Emergency Management $46,614, and Emergency Management grants at over $148,000.

The County EMS budget totals $926,312, a four percent increase over last year. This includes $2,400 for the Lakeport Fire Department, $10,500 for the Buckhead Ridge Fire Department, $600 apiece for the Palmdale and South Glades Fire Departments, $1,300 for the Muse Fire Department, $3,550 for the Moore Haven Fire Department, and $1,100 for Ortona’s Fire Department.

The proposed budget for animal control budget rose 11 percent to $60,275 and the County Maintenance Department was cut 16 percent to $162,142.

Other budget proposals include $111,910 for Court House operations, $19,600 for the Doyle Conner Building, $33,612 for the new Health Department Building, $9,000 for the old County Jail, $2,899 for the Lakeport Community Center, $7,500 for the Buckhead Ridge Community Center, $2,500 for the Palmdale Community Center, $4,500 for the Muse Community Center, $3,000 for the Washington Park Community Center, $3,500 for the Ortona Community Center, $3,900 for the Clerk of the Courts Storage Building and $23,000 for the Job Training Center building.

The proposed Cemetery budget totals $25,212, boat ramps and parks were funded at $26,400, the Supervisor of Elections $215,911, the Tax Collector $436,283, the Property Appraiser $588,304, the Clerk of the Courts $404,993, and the Sheriff’s Office $3.11 million.

County Manager Paul Carlisle emphasized the budgets have not been finalized. He noted the county could consider a payment for performance for employees in December.

The major capital projects planned are completion of the Job Training Center, construction of an entrance way to the America’s Gateway Logistics Center and several road projects funded by state dollars.

The Commission on July 28 approved the millage at 9.1367 which is lower than the rollback rate, which reflects the rate needed to raise the same amount of property taxes. They also held the line on the millage for the MSTU law enforcement rate at 2.45 mills, less than the roll back rate.
The next public hearing on the tentative budget is Sept. 10.

Special to Glades County Democrat

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