The Yadkin County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to adopt the proposed budget for fiscal year 2012-‘13 as proposed by County Manager Aaron Church.
A public hearing was held on June 5 to present the proposed budget to the public and to allow the commissioners and county manager to hear public comments and concerns before voting.
Church made a presentation of the budget and revisions that had been made since the original release of the proposed budget. The revised recommendation came to a total of $35,074,284, an increase of $81,576 from the original figure of $34,992,708.
Church said that a major change in this year’s budget comes from a change to emergency services. The county agreed to change the pay grade of emergency service employees to be based on qualifications, which will increase employee’s checks anywhere from $20 to $2,000.
Another major change to this year’s budget is the addition to the jail. The budget had to account for seven months of employment for nine new employees, housing rental, unforeseen costs that can occur, medical expenses of the prisoners. This accounted for a $659,000 increase in this year’s budget.
“We hope that his number is conservative and that we’ll be able to go in next year and decrease the housing rental and increase the staffing level, and that it will balance out nicely,” Church said. “We have no choice but to take care of the health of the inmates. A jail number can always go over budget because you just never know what you’re going to be dealing with.”
Another major increase in the budget is due to a federally mandated change to emergency service radio lines. These changes must be made by January 2013 to avoid massive fees to the county.
The county must hire a consultant to help guide the transition of the radio system. The consultant will cost an estimated $55,000. An additional $100,000 is estimated in debt services for the project.
The budget was increased by $82,000 from the original budget proposed for several reasons, including:
-The Surry Community College Yadkin Campus original delegation of funds was $192,000 but should have been $202,810.
-The amount written for the N.C. Forestry division was increased by $11,600 to provide a truck that the county will pay 40 percent for and the state will pay the remaining balance.
-The elections board budget was increased by $14,000 due to the runoff election.
-Non-departmental changes were made to create a senior meals reserve. There was originally no money set aside in a reserve for this use. Church added $12,000 that will be available to assist Yadkin County seniors in the event that YVEDDI does not have enough funds to provide meals to seniors who do not have access to food or means to obtain food.
“My initial recommendation for YVEDDI was to maintain the same amount of funding as last year,” Church said. “There were concerns I’ve heard from these groups that convinced me that there could be the possibility that they wouldn’t have enough money for senior meals. This is going to ensure that Yadkin County seniors are taken care of, no matter what, in times of critical need…Yadkin County, is going to ensure that seniors that are unable to purchase meals will have access to food.”
These funds will be made available if the following criteria are met: YVEDDI provides monthly reports to the budget officer that include detailed accounts of YVEDDI’s Yadkin County expenditures. YVEDDI provides detailed justifications for their year-to-date expenditures, including detailed line-level justifications showing how YVEDDI’s Yadkin County money has been spent on Yadkin County citizens to date. The finance officer verifies the justifications provided by YVEDDI and the social services director verifies that there are not federal or state funds available for use.
An additional $29,320 was established in a critical medical transportation fund that will ensure that seniors with critical medical conditions will be assisted in the event that YVEDDI does not have enough state or federal funds to transport them.
“There is a fear that the state may reduce medical transportation for seniors,” Church said. “The revised recommendation is not going to stand for that. In Yadkin County I’m recommending this money go into this reserve account solely dedicated to transportation for seniors for critical medical transportation to ensure that those seniors receive the transportation and care they need. I personally will make sure that no senior doesn’t make it dialysis, chemotherapy, or any other treatment.”
These funds will be available if YVEDDI can show that it has expended all transportation funds that it received from Yadkin County, the Come Community Care Block Grant and from Rural Operating Assistance Program. The finance officer must also verify that YVEDDI has spent all other transportation funds that could be used for those services and verifies this with the social services director.
After hearing public comments the commissioners agreed that the budget was adjusted to their satisfaction and voted 5-0 for the approval and adoption of the proposed fiscal year 2012/2013 budget.
Reach Lindsay Craven at 679-2341 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.