CLEARFIELD – On Tuesday the Clearfield County Commissioners voted, 2-1, to approve its 2018 budget that currently projects a deficit of more than $390,000.
Since its tentative approval Dec. 5, the commissioners have decreased the budget deficit from $698,888 to $390,308, according to Commissioner Mark B. McCracken.
Despite the deficit, the final budget does not increase the tax burden on county residents, and real estate taxes will remain at 23 mills.
The final budget included the following amendments:
- Maintenance Agreements, ($12,500)
- Contracted Services, $75,000
- Transfer from General Fund, $191,000
- Vehicles, ($46,000)
- Maintenance and Repairs, ($145,000)
- Transfer to Capital Reserve, ($191,000)
- Retirement Fund Contribution, ($67,500)
- Sheriff/Salaries & Wages-Staff, $4,000
- Sheriff-Medicare, $58
- Sheriff-FICA, $248
- Public Defender/Salaries & Wages-Staff, ($3,389)
- Public Defender/Medicare, ($49)
- Public Defender/FICA- ($210)
- Jail/Salaries & Wages-Staff, ($33,198)
- Jail/Hospital Insurance, ($27,863)
- Jail-Medicare, ($482)
- Jail–FICA, ($2,058)
- Jail-Life Ins., ($45)
- Jail Union Tax, ($186)
- Adult Probation/Hospital Insurance, $13,932
- Adult Probation/Salaries & Wages, Staff, ($3,338)
- Insurance Company Dividend, $60,000
- Contribution from Other Sources (Retirement Account), ($80,000)
“We’ve put a lot of work into making changes and adjustments,” said Commissioner John A. Sobel. “2018 is going to be a very tight year.
“We have additional thoughts and plans in order to create more cost savings for the county, but those things still need to be developed.”
McCracken made the motion and Sobel seconded it to pass the resolution to adopt the 2018 budget. Both voted in favor; Scotto cast the only nay vote.
Scotto said he couldn’t vote for a budget that will have the county operating under a deficit. He pointed out that the fund balance was $4.9 million in 2010, and it was $1.6 million when they last ran the numbers.
He said the county just had a big batch of bills, and while the Tax Anticipation Note (TAN) will help with cash flow, he doesn’t believe it will be enough with $157,000 in reserves.
“I don’t think it’s enough,” Scotto said. He went on to say that in the future the county needs to give serious consideration to making additional cuts.
“I hope I am wrong and that everything works out for the county. Perhaps, a 1-mill tax increase would have helped us … I don’t think we should run on a deficit budget with a low fund balance.”
McCracken and Sobel said they respected Scotto’s opinion on the budget. Both confirmed they were comfortable with their votes and would monitor the budget closely each month.