County adds $229K in expenses, $480K in revenue to 2013 revenue
By STEPH TAHTINEN
Mt. Pleasant News
The Henry County board of supervisors amended its fiscal year 2013 budget on Thursday morning to add $229,594 in expenditures and $480,850 in revenue.
Within the expenditures, the greatest increase was in the Conservation budget, where there was a total of $77,800 added for FEMA expenses, feed, the ACORN group and a new vehicle. There was $77,194 added in grants for the public health department, community betterment and juvenile probation; $31,000 for medical exam fees $29,600 added for a new employee added to the auditor’s office; and $4,000 in miscellaneous expenses.
County Auditor Shelly Barber noted that many of these dollars —the FEMA money and the grant money — are not taking money away from the county’s reserves, as that money is also reflected in the revenues.
She noted that the county is not required to amend the budget for revenues, but she likes to because it makes these pass-through dollars more apparent.
“I feel like if you don’t amend the revenues, it gives a false perception,” said Barber.
Not all of the increase in revenue was due to pass-through dollars, however, as the increase in revenues was more than double the increase in expenditures.
The county’s revenues were amended by a total of $480,850. Nearly half of this increase was due to the sale of the county care facility property, which brought in $247,000.
There was $74,704 brought in from miscellaneous sources, which Barber noted were mostly from insurance sources. There was $63,850 from weapons permits, prisoner reimbursement, land transfer fees and recording fees, $55,157 from grants for the public health and sheriff departments and $40,139 in FEMA money for the conservation department.
With these budget amendments, the total revenues for fiscal year 2013 are listed at $12,179,186 and total expenditures are listed at $15,750,273. There is an anticipated ending fund balance of $3,978,541.
The supervisors also passed a resolution to master matrix-level hog confinement planned to be built at 1660 Highway 78, which is just west of Olds. There is already one building at this location, and another building will be added to expand the size from 996 animal units to 2,000 animal units.
The county had received one letter from a citizen worrying about the smell. However, Planning and Zoning Administrator Joe Buffington said the complaint would not cause the DNR to prohibit the confinement.
In other business, Henry County resident Steve Wilson expressed his concerns over the plans to chip and seal Jewel Avenue as a “trial project,” funded by the adjoining property owners.
“I don’t know why we’re doing it,” said Wilson.
Although the adjoining property owners who signed the agreement are paying for the initial construction costs, Henry County will be paying for the maintenance. According to the contract, if the maintenance costs for the chip and seal road are too high and exceed the average cost to maintain the road as a gravel road, the project will be considered a failure.
Wilson noted that this means the county will have to spend this amount on maintenance before determining that the road is a failure, and he was concerned that the county could potentially spend excessive amounts on maintenance.
He noted that he had found information on the Internet that many counties in Iowa and a few states were reverting back to gravel because of the cost of maintenance.
“Why are we creating such a financial risk to find out what everybody already knows?” asked Wilson.
Supervisor Chairman Gary See asked why he had not spoken before the supervisors signed the contract earlier this week, as the project had been under discussion and available for public comment for quite some time.
Wilson replied that he thought there may be a public hearing and he was under the impression that the supervisors were still unsure of whether to proceed.