The Cherokee County Board of Supervisors approved the 2010-2011 county budget on Tuesday. The $11,698,097 budget was approved after a Public Hearing during which no opposition to the proposed budget was raised.
The budget will require tax rates of a total rural rate of $8 per $1,000 of valuation, while total countywide will pay $4.783 per $1,000 taxable valuations. There was no increase per thousand of valuation, which amounted in a 20-cent tax reduction. Countywide levies are $2,949,498, while rural-only levies are $1,432,500.
Of the total county expenditures, three percent ($354,088) of the county budget was allocated for Government Services, 15 percent ($1,727,728) for Administration, 15 percent ($1,753,048) for Public Safety & Legal Services, three percent ($387,260) for Physical Health & Social Services, 12 percent ($1,374,878) for Mental Health, six percent ($694,980) for County Environment & Education, 33 percent ($3,904,115) for Roads & Transportation, and 13 percent ($1,615,000) for Secondary Road Projects.
Cherokee County Auditor, Kris Glienke stated that last year the county brought in more money ($685,000) then it spent. She attributes the budget surplus to the county department heads that had kept their department budget low for taxpayers, as requested by the Board and Auditor.
In other business held by the Board on Tuesday, was a request from the Cherokee County Veteran Affairs Director, Dana Evans to hire a part-time worker to help with paperwork and to possible train as his replacement. Evans indicated to the Board that he may be retiring in about six years and he would like to find someone who cares about veteran issues to take his spot. The Board took Evans' request under advisement.
Also addressing the Board was Cheryl Gordon, wife of Cherokee County Roads employee Bill Gordon. Gordon expressed her concerns regarding the holiday pay language in the county contract with the Secondary Roads Department. Gordon felt her husband and other county employees weren't paid appropriately during a recent holiday.
Recently payroll, along with other billing issues from the Secondary Roads Department, have been transferred from the Secondary Roads office to the County Auditor's office. Interpretation of the langue in the contract seemed to be the reason why employees didn't receive as much pay for their holiday time. It is the belief of the Board, the County Auditor's office and the County Attorney's office that prior to the Auditor's office taking over payroll, the Secondary Roads members had been overpaid for years under the prior interpretation of holiday pay language for the Secondary Roads.
The Board took Gordon's position under advisement but no action was taken on how the County would proceed regarding this issue.
Dave Shanahan, County Engineer, addressed the Board with general business. Providing there is no more measurable snowfall, he reported that the Secondary Roads Department was done with moving snow and informed the Board that many of the county roads are soft due to all the recent melting.