CADILLAC — Tick, tock, tick, tock.
The Wexford County Board of Commissioners are in the process of finalizing the budget for the 2020 fiscal year as the final weeks, days and minutes of 2019 are here. On Wednesday, Wexford County Administrator Janet Koch is scheduled to give a budget presentation about the proposed budget to the commissioners. The board also will be asked to consider holding its annual public hearing on the new budget at its second meeting on Dec. 18.
The current recommended 2020 budget for the general fund is roughly $13.92 million for both expenditures and revenues. The requested 2020 budget showed revenues of roughly $13.66 million with appropriations of just over $14 million. As a result, the county needed roughly $360,000 to balance the budget.
Koch said the original shortfall was substantially higher than it is currently. The reduction of the shortfall was the result of department heads coming together and tweaking their budgets to reduce budgets, according to Koch.
In spite of those reductions, Koch said the state line-item vetoes are still looming and at this point, it is unknown how they will impact the county. The budget the commissioners are set to act on doesn’t include any of those vetoes because Koch said the discussions in Lansing keep saying those reductions in state payments will be made whole.
“How that will impact our budget is not known. Our budget doesn’t reflect that because we keep hearing they are coming back,‘ she said. “If they don’t come back then we will have to consider those in Fiscal Year 2020 and deal with those.‘
The line-item vetoes included roughly $47,000 in secondary road patrol, $60,000 in state inmate housing, $65,725 Department of Natural Resources payment in lieu of taxes, $35,000 in community corrections, and $25,000 in veterans services grant. In total, Koch said the vetoes equate to $220,910 after the $12,000 increase in revenue sharing that the county is receiving.
Whitmer signed the $59 billion state budget, hours before the Oct. 1 deadline, while also issuing the historic number of vetoes totaling $947 million.
The Wexford County Board of Commissioners is scheduled to meet at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday in the Commissioners Room on the third floor of the Wexford County Courthouse, 437 E. Division St.