Commission slates budget hearing Sept. 19


The Walker County Commission has announced its schedule of meetings for the rest of September, with the intent of passing the Fiscal 2020 budgets before they starts on Oct. 1. 

The commission voted Monday to cancel its next regularly scheduled Monday meeting, Sept. 16, at the recommendation of District 1 Commissioner Keith Davis. Instead, the commission will meet later that week on Thursday, Sept. 19, in a work session about the budgets. No vote can be taken during the work session, but draft department budgets are expected to be reviewed and discussed in the meeting, which is open to the public. 

A called meeting is then set for a week later, on Thursday, Sept. 26, where any last-minute details will be discussed. The budget is then expected to be formally passed at the called meeting. Topics can only be addressed that are in the call for the meeting. 

Both meetings are set for 9:30 a.m.

County Administrator Robbie Dickerson said the schedule would work well for the staff's needs in preparing the budget. 

Dickerson, in a related development, said the accounts payable are being updated. 

"They are in very good shape with our system that we had started a few months ago. We are going to have some very good numbers," she said, with purchase orders down this month since the system is more up to date. "That will help us close out the year with some really, really, good numbers for our expenditures versus carrying things over," she said. 

Also, she said workman's compensation and liability premiums will not increase for the next fiscal year. 

No word has arrived about health insurance as meetings are being held this month to discuss that, Dickerson said. "Last year was a 5 percent increase. We're budgeting for a 5 percent increase, just in case," she said. Davis said health insurance for employees and retirees costs the county about $1.5 million, meaning 5 percent increases can be a major cost increase. 

The commission also approved the proposed Appraisal and Mapping Budget of $1,007,690 for the new fiscal year, which is action that usually happens earlier in each county in cooperation with the state Department of Revenue. The state is reimbursed the balance left over from the current fiscal year to carry over into the next fiscal year, Dickerson said.