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Overton Budget Committee Reviews General Fund

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Overton Budget Committee Reviews General Fund

The Overton County Budget Committee reviewed its proposed general fund budget line by line Tuesday night.

Increased starting wages, more money for schools and a new ems assistant director position highlight the proposal.

“We worked hard on this budget this year,” Committee Chair Darwin Clark said. “We cut it about as low as it could go. We’ve also been able to generate some extra money to give raises to all the employees this year, so we’re excited about that.”

County Executive Ben Danner said starting pay would increase from $11 to $13 an hour for all county employees. Danner said if passed by the commission, it would take place on July 1st.

Overall, the budget estimates some $11.4 million in revenue and $14.5 million of expenditures. While a deficit is proposed, Danner said departments usually have budgeted money leftover to absorb majority of the cost.

“This last year’s budget, we budgeted a budget spending $2,848,000 more than revenue, but actual estimate is only $764,000 more than revenue,” Danner said. “So that’s really good for how much gas went up. I think you see the pattern with the general fund. Every single department basically spent less than what they had budgeted. So, this next year’s budget is showing spending $3,146,000 more than revenue. That’s the worse case scenario if everybody spent every dime they got.”

Danner said the county expects an extra $215,000 from the penny rate that increased by about $1,000. Danner said the Overton County School System will receive an additional $52,000 from that. Clark said he is pleased with how new school leadership has been operating

“The schools is doing a lot better about getting their reports in and their budget in,” Clark said. “We’re tickled with the new staff over there. They have a grasp of what is going on.”

As for the ambulance fund, a bookkeeper was also proposed alongside the assistant director. Danner said final estimates will determine if the county can afford the positions.

“The budget committee and salary looked at trying to hire an assistance and a bookkeeper,” Danner said. “There’s figures in there to do that, but that’s up to if we actually have enough to do that. That may or may not be.”

The Sheriff’s Department proposed fund almost doubled its projection of fuel costs to $150,000. Danner said the budget also includes funding for some new radios.

The budget also includes funding to cover a $13 increase to employee insurance as well as no tax increases for the another consecutive year, Danner said.

The budget committee will meet once again Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. to go over remaining funds such as the highway department, solid waste and the school system.


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