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Putnam First Budget: $10.4 Million Expense Increase

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Putnam First Budget: $10.4 Million Expense Increase

Putnam County’s first budget proposal shows an increase in expenses of some $10.4 million.

County Mayor Randy Porter shared the roughly $58.4 million in department head requests with the County Budget Committee Monday night.

“Just remember, it’s a process,” Porter said. “We always make it. We’ll just have to work through it. Don’t get aggravated, don’t get upset. Don’t get discouraged. It’ll work itself out. The number in the beginning is always big, and it wills itself down as we get closer to the end.”

Porter said he made no changes and no recommendations on the department head requests in this first version. Committee members will meet with department heads in the coming weeks.

About half of the increase expense comes from 93 new employees at a price tag of some $5.4 million. That includes some $3.76 million in salaries combined with $1.72 million in benefits. 60 new employees are needed for the expanded justice center. EMS is requesting 12 new employees with 11 new staffers in the Sheriff’s Department and three requested for the fire department.

Porter said inflation showed up everywhere across the budget, with 10 to 20 percent increases on items ranging from food costs, office supplies, vehicle parts, to building supplies.

The Solid Waste Department budget is up about $6.9 million, in large part, due to growth in the community.

“We’ve been increasing about 10 percent every year,” Porter said. “When solid Waste is garbage increases, so does our tipping fees. So out of that half a million, you’ll probably see three or $400,000 increase in their revenue to balance out.”
The county will get more information on property tax revenues later this week, but will not have revenue projections for roughly three weeks.

Debt service will decrease in the new budget as will the capital projects fund, based on first projections.

“The big part of capital projects is going to be the solid waste,” Porter said. “Then after that, as you’ll see, once we do capital projects, when I do that presentation at a future meeting, we’ve done most of all the roofs and all that kind of stuff.”

Porter said the county should benefit from increased interest on his investments. The state is also paying for School Resource Officers going forward.


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