County slates hearing on budget amendment

The Greene County supervisors will hold a public hearing on an amendment to the current year budget Monday, Feb. 25, at 9 am.

The budget amendment shows an increase in revenues of more than $1 million, with most of the increase being reimbursement of $958,626 by MidAmerican Energy for repair to roads damaged in the course of wind turbine construction.

Expenditures show a net increase of $827,977.

The largest increase is in public safety and legal services, an increase of $312,477. Taking over emergency medical services mid-year accounts for $257,163 of the increase. The sheriff’s budget is being increased $55,314 to cover increased jail expensed and the cost of buying out deputy Caleb Jans’ contract with the city of Jefferson. Secondary roads shows a net increase in expenses of $325,000. Also, health insurance costs are $133,000 more than originally budgeted, and mental health costs are $80,000 more than budgeted.

Shelter care and juvenile detention costs are $20,000 less than budgeted, and election costs are $6,000 less than budgeted.

The bottom lines show the restricted fund balance increasing from $1,928,759 to $2,137,102. The total ending fund balance estimated for June 30, 2019, increases from $3,111,798 to $3,329,894.

The supervisors reviewed the budget amendment at their Feb. 7 meeting.

Sheriff Jack Williams provided his quarterly report for Oct-Dec. 2018, along with an annual comparison.

During 2018, a total of 419 inmates were booked into the county jail. Of the total, 27 were housed in other county jails. About half of them were females, as the jail does not have space to segregate men and women as required by state regulations.

The 392 inmates kept at the Greene County jail served a total of 75,219.245 hours. They were served a total of 6,269 meals. “This is why we have to keep amending the jail budget – all those meals,” quipped county auditor Jane Heun.

Williams said there are 23 persons waiting to serve jail terms until space is available.

For comparison, 470 inmates were booked in 2017, with 446 of them being held at the Greene County jail. However, 5,176 meals were served, more than 1,000 fewer than in 2018.

Joan St Clair presented estimates of insurance cots for fiscal year2020. As Heun had predicted, the premium for workers compensation insurance is increasing, although most of the increase isn’t due to adding ambulance service staff as county employees. The total increase is $25,000, from $43,453 to $68,279. Of that, EMS staff accounts for $4,000. The rest of the increase is due to an accident involving a secondary roads employee in FY18.

The property and liability insurance premium is increasing 2 percent to include ambulance equipment. Cost for FY20 will be $157,540.

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