The Cherokee County Board of Supervisors approved an amendment to the budget for the present fiscal year that began July 1, adding $361,000 to expenditures, but the actual impact is not as high as this figure would indicate.
Kris Glienke of the Cherokee County Auditor's Office presented the final budget adjustment figures to the supervisors and responded to questions from Jack Clark who was present for the public hearing prior to approval of the budget amendments.
The budget adjustment also includes $137,500 in increased revenues. This will pay for all of the increased expenditures for Homeland Security spending and $7,500 of the increased spending for Law Enforcement Center equipment.
Glienke explained that Cherokee County is the fiscal agent for a multi-county area for Homeland Security funds. Although the Homeland Security budget for the area is over $1 million, most of this is spent directly by the federal government for equipment and training. The remainder, $130,000 this year, is distributed by the fiscal agent.
Glienke explained that the Homeland Security checks aren't written to the various counties until the money is received from the federal government. This is a flow-through account that does not cost the county anything but the amount has to be in the budget in order for the county to have the authority to write the checks.
Glienke said that Cherokee County will not be acting as fiscal agent for this spending in the future.
There is also a grant of $7,500 for LEC equipment that is being added to the revenue for the budget.
The $137,500 in new revenue subtracted from the $361,000 in new spending leaves a net increase in expenditures of $223,500 but even this amount is higher than what the actual impact on the budget will be.
The Cherokee County Conservation Board requested a budget adjustment so that $117,000 in funds earmarked for park capital improvement projects can be freed up for the present fiscal year. The CCCB is making improvements to the Silver Sioux Recreation Area restroom, including the addition of showers.
To help pay for the project, the CCCB is transferring $78,000 from the Resource Enhancement And Protection fund, a fund resulting from grants from the state specifically for CCCB purposes. Another $39,000 is from the Land Acquisition and Capital Improvement fund, also specifically designated for park improvement. Freeing up the total of $117,000 for spending in the current fiscal year does not have a negative impact on the budget. The funds are already present for the purpose they will be used for.
When the amount that is flow-through money or already available in designated funds is subtracted from the $361,000 in increased spending, the actual spending impact for the current fiscal year is about $106,500.
This amount results primarily from two areas of spending. The building, maintenance and repair budget for the courthouse was increased from $10,000 to $60,000 to pay for recent replacement of the roof at the courthouse. This is the first replacement of the roof since the building was built in 1964. The heavy leaking of the roof caused some tile damage that needed repaired.
The public safety and legal services budget was increased by $64,000, partially offset by increased grant revenue. This includes a carryover in expenditures from the prior year of $29,900 that is now cleared, allowing the purchase of two new sheriff's department vehicles as previously scheduled for the year. There was also an increase in funds for LEC salaries that had not been anticipated.