Sups hear budget requests

The Webster County Board of Supervisors held a second day of meetings with department heads to hear 2014 budget proposals Thursday.

The heads of six departments presented budgets for the board’s consideration for the 2014 fiscal year.

Sheilah Lizer, Planning and Zoning administrator, requested a budget of $79,137, $1,305 more than the 2013 budget of $77,832.

The greatest proposed increase for Planning and Zoning included a requested raise for Lizer to $46,944, which is up $1,052 from $45,892 in 2013.

Mark O’Donnell and Doug Vinson presented budgets for Webster County building maintenance on county-owned buildings. They proposed $368,900 in total expenses for the Law Enforcement Center, up from $356,100 in 2013, a $12,800 increase.

“Part of that reason is there were renovations in progress and part of the LEC was not being used last year,” said O’Donnell. “And we now have new equipment to be maintained and added security.”

The proposed maintenance budget for the First Avenue North facility, which houses the Webster County Health Department, was $120,000, down $200 from $120,200 in 2013.

The proposed budget for the Northwest Bank building on South Eighth Street is $193,750, a $6,775 increase over the 2013 budget of $186,975.

Kari Prescott, Webster County Health Department director, proposed a budget of $2,514,634 for 2014, a $177,316 increase over the department’s $2,337,318 budget in 2013.

The largest increase is employee health insurance – a $40,000 increase – from $230,000 to $270,000. Prescott said it would cover insurance for part-time employees in 2014.

Prescott said she expects the Health Department to finish in the black for the budgeted year.

“We will be revenue positive by the end of the fiscal year,” said Prescott. “Our funding is based on a variety of sources.”

Supervisor Clark Fletcher praised her work.

“You are doing a great job of running your department without county resources,” he said.

The Webster County Sheriff’s Department requested a 2014 budget of $3,097,721, a $157,154 decrease from $3,254,876 in 2013.

Each member of the department was outfitted with a new bulletproof vest in 2013, which was an expense covered by a grant included in the 2013 budget, Sheriff Jim Stubbs said.

“Some of the difference is that the grant money for the vests is gone,” he said.

Salary was down from $688,042 in 2013 to $685,492 in 2014. Stubbs said part of the $2,550 decrease includes the promotion of Rod Strait to chief deputy and the new hire of a deputy to replace Strait’s former position.

“That would be at starting salary, which will still be a savings if we hire someone,” said Stubbs.

Stubbs also proposed $85,000 for new vehicles to purchase three new cars or sport utility vehicles for the department in 2014, up from $78,000 in 2013.

Webster County Emergency Management Coordinator Tony Jorgensen proposed a budget of $153,872 for 2014. Jorgensen proposed that the county increase its support from $35,000 to $80,000 to cover the cost of a part-time assistant. The proposed assistant was at a rate of $15 per hour for 20 hours per week.

“To keep services I will need to request an increase in funding this year,” said Jorgensen. “Every day more duties come upon me, but I do not have free volunteers to perform the daily work. I can do it, but I do not feel the work is getting done at the level it could be.”

Webster County Recorder Judy Cosgrove proposed a departmental budget of $348,527 for 2014, up from $341,067 in 2013.

Cosgrove said the increase is mainly due to a proposed 2 to 3 percent pay increase.

‘The main expense will be salary,” said Cosgrove.