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Fayette County budget may go up again; healthcare, fuel costs blamed

With a projected revenue decline of $2.1 million for the coming fiscal year, combined with escalating gas and healthcare costs, the upcoming budget hearings for the Fayette County Commission look to be those of further belt-tightening.

Giving a brief budget overview at the commission’s Wednesday workshop meeting, County Manager Jack Krakeel noted that the budget he’s recommending, at $75 million, is 1.6 percent over the figure approved for the current year’s budget.

The budget increase is necessary because of the significant escalation in healthcare costs, both for employees and also for inmate healthcare at the Fayette County Jail, for starters, Krakeel said. Fuel costs are expected to jump $300,000 alone, he noted.

Meanwhile, the county’s tax digest is slated to take about a 4 percent dip this year, meaning a shrinkage in anticipated property tax revenues, Krakeel said.

The budget includes no new staff positions despite a request for 17 new personnel, Krakeel said. County departments have been under a hiring freeze for the past several years, with an exclusion for public safety personnel.

That has meant that as employees have resigned or retired, in most situations they have not been replaced with a new hire; instead the workload is spread out among existing staffers, officials have said.

The commission is slated to hold its budget hearings May 23 and 24.

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Comments

you can do better than this. Get those scissors out and cut, cut. cut.

Don't get us started on the inmate healthcare.

How many county employees smoke, Jack? Give us a number.

Fayette County could save more than enough money with 3 simple steps.
1- Do away with the county marshals. There is simply no reason to have 10 people to enforce county ordinaces. Give planning and zoning 2 unarmed code enforcement officers. The sheriff already patrols the county property.The savings here would cut several million dollars from the budget.
2- The county employees must absorb the increase in health care costs. If they are unwilling to do so, send them packing to the real world. This county is nothing more than a jobs program.
3- Privatize the public works department. Just drive around this county and see these workers parked on the side of the road "working". It takes 6 people to fill a pot hole. 15 plus workers to repave a road. Go to any gas station and stand behind them playing the lottery. 2 1/2 hour lunches. The list goes on and on.

Cyclist's picture

Just wait and see what happens when this becomes national under the infamous Obama Care. The national budget will be hard pressed to afford this white elephant.

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

Hope that we will see some commissioners with stiff backbones provide an EMPHATIC 'NO' when this proposal is surfaced! If not, they will be remembered when their jobs are up for renewal!

Find it astonishing that a 'manager's' first course of action is to RAISE TAXES! Seems like the LAZY WAY OUT! Is our county government oblivious to what is going on throughout the County?

Agree with the author above regarding privatizing county maintenance and road repair. Even the commissioners will have to admit this has become a "jobs program" with benefits more luxurious than possessed by the citizens paying for them!

As has already been pointed out in comments above, there are a host actions that could be taken to CUT COSTS! Businesses are cutting -- including medical care!

Is it time to look for a new manager who can accomplish tough decisions during tough times?

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