Skip to Content

Putnam Begins Budget Process With Likely Need For Revenue

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Putnam Begins Budget Process With Likely Need For Revenue

Putnam County Commissioners will start to piece together a budget this week as they begin meetings with department heads about what the needs are.

Commission Chair Ben Rodgers said they will start with the sheriffs department which could be ready to open the justice center expansion by the end of the new fiscal year.

“We’re not sure the timeline yet and we’re trying to get prepared for that either way,” Rodgers said. “So it looks like we’re going to be adding some correctional officers to our current jail staff. So that’s going to be one of the focuses we have. And then of course, the other departments will have requests and we’ll have to listen to those and see what the need is.”

Sheriff Eddie Farris said an outside study found the facility to already be understaffed. He said earlier this year he wanted to work with commissioners to make the best decision for the county.

Rodgers said he looks at employee additions as a long-term investment.

“It’s reocurring cost and so we got to find a way to fund those positions,” Rodgers said. “And that’s the big concern is trying to navigate through how much funding we need for the request that we have and what can we approve and what can we live without.”

Rodgers said he’s concerned the county may need to find additional revenue to do all the things it wants to do in this budget year.

“That’s the only thing the county commission controls as far as local revenue,” Rodgers said. “Everything else is subject to a referendum. And so the only thing they can control is property tax revenue according to state law. And most counties utilize the property tax revenue to balance the budget. So that’s probably the first thing we’ll be looking at. But we’ll always look at other options. There’s been some people talking about other sources of revenue, what does that look like for the county? And there are some options there, but again, that may be subject to referendum or other state laws that we got to go through to enact those.”

Inflation will also be a factor with the current rate sitting just under five percent. Rodgers said that will lead him toward a conservative philosophy on the spending side because expense items will likely be higher.

Rodgers said his goal is to have the budget finalized by July.

“It’s open to the public,” Rodgers said. “We will listen to any department head or official that wants to talk with us and come meet with us. We give them the respect and give them the time to do that. That’s part of the process. We’re going to be in conversations during those meetings and looking at every possibility to fund things, every way to conserve maybe, or maybe limit some of the additions to the budget as much as we can to hopefully reduce the amount of revenue we need to fund those. So it’s just a process.”


The post Putnam Begins Budget Process With Likely Need For Revenue appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.