The Anderson County Commission Budget Committee has completed its work on the county budget and forwarded it to County Commission for consideration and approval at its June 13 special-called meeting, a press release said. The full budget is available on the county web site at andersontn.org under the Finance Department tab.
“The Budget Committee and Finance Department had several challenges in preparing next year’s budget,” said Myron Iwanski, Budget Committee chair. “This is the first year operating under the 81 Financial Management Law. It has resulted in changes in the Finance Department’s role and its organizational structure and staff. There have also been the challenges of having to take $1.5 million dollars from our fund balance to address Ambulance Service shortfalls; the continuing costs for legal fees that have accumulated over the last four years; the computer breach; and increases in medical insurance cost.”
The press release said the proposed budget keeps spending in departments at current levels, but it includes funding for an Information Technology staff. It provides funding for a capital outlay note to purchase a county Senior Center building, relocate the General Session Court in Oak Ridge to a county-owned building, and fund several needed building upgrades.
The county school budget restores the school property tax rate. It uses school revenue increases in other areas to cover the cost of a 2 percent salary increase and one-to-one computer implementation, the press release said.
“We have a budget that controls spending and uses more conservative revenue targets,” Iwanski said. “This will help us balance future budgets and help us start increasing our fund balance again. We appreciate Natalie Erb and the Finance Department’s hard work in preparing this budget. We also appreciate the cooperation of each of the county departments in helping address our financial challenges by proposing reasonable, level funded budgets.”
“The Budget Committee and Finance Department have done an outstanding job preparing a budget that maintains funding for services without a tax increase, despite all the challenges we face,” said Steve Emert, Anderson County Commission chair. “The early involvement of the eight County Commissioners on the Budget Committee preparing the budget under the 81 Financial Management Act will streamline the process for review and approval by the full County Commission.”
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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