Friday, July 19, 2024
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Putnam Budget Committee Could Vote Monday

The Putnam County Budget Committee could approve its budget as soon as Monday, with the county’s finances in better shape than in recent years.

Chairman Ben Rodgers said the county has been able to increase its fund balance, while also providing residents more services than ever. He said even while in healthier financial position, the committee has to be cautious and frugal.

“We’ve got to be conservative on our revenue projections for this next fiscal year,” Rodgers said. “I mean, we know the interest rates are good right now for investing money, but it’s not always going to be that way. So we’ve got to figure out how to offset that money if we need to. I’m hoping right now that we don’t have to do that so far with the requests. I think we can handle it with what our revenue is.”

Rodgers said this year’s budget process has been much smoother than last year when the committee met 13 times before approving a budget. He said he has encouraged the committee to bring in its final questions Monday and be prepared to pass a budget, not drag the process out.

“You can’t increase the budget a huge percentage every year,” Rodgers said. “It’s just not feasible for the taxpayer, and this year, the requests have been pretty much minimum for the most part.”

A handful of new employees are included in the budget. There will also be discussions of potential cost-of-living raises. Rodgers said interest rates have generated more revenue this year than in years past. He said conservative requests from department heads have also helped out.

“I’m very grateful,” Rodgers said. “Our constituents are very grateful. That doesn’t go unnoticed.”

He said the county is grateful when department heads turn money back in at the end of the fiscal year. He said when extra funds are turned back in, the county does not cut those funds, showing those department heads that their frugal spending is noted.

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