Those are three of the highlights in the Davis County 2010 tentative budget that was approved by commissioners Tuesday morning.
Copies of that budget, following some “tweaking,” will be available for the public Nov. 25. The final budget hearing and expected adoption will be Dec. 8 at 6 p.m. at Farmington Junior High School.
“A decline in sales tax revenue and state pass-through revenue” is reflected in the smaller budget, said County Commission Chair Bret Millburn. The 2010 budget is pegged at $92.8 million compared to $94.4 million for the current budget, which runs through Dec. 31.
Department heads were asked to submit tight budgets, and County Clerk/Auditor Steve Rawlings confirmed that was the case.
“I asked them to be very frugal, to live within the 2009 level,” he said. “Last year, requests were $10.5 million over what we had available, and this year it was $4.3 million.”
In line with what other government entities and many private businesses are doing, no cost-of-living increase is planned for employees. An unchanged number of full-time employee equivalents is planned, at 933. However, Rawlings said the payroll actually includes only 890 FTEs currently.
He noted that insurance rates dropped 12 percent, a few years ago.
“We’ve been really fortunate (with insurance premiums) thanks to our employee wellness program,” which has helped keep rates lower, Millburn said.
Deputy Civil County Attorney Gerald Hess emphasized that “all requirements are being met” in terms of preparing the budget.
“We do it a little different than the (state) statute, but we are in compliance,” he said.
As explained by Millburn, a budget committee, including the county commission, meets regularly. In addition, public budget meetings with the various department heads are held, receiving input from county commissioners and others.
“Occasionally a citizen will attend,” Millburn said. “It’s a part of transparency. We have nothing to hide.
“I think it saves us money,” as well, he said. “That way, Steve (Rawlings) doesn’t have to go through all of the process with department heads, prepare a budget and then present it to the commissioners. With our committee, there’s good dialogue,” he said.
The budget includes $3 million for construction of a new Heritage Senior Activity Center in Clearfield, with funds coming from capital projects reserve funding. That fund is generally maintained at the $3 million to $5 million range.
Some $6 million, meanwhile, is earmarked to begin construction of the new Farmington headquarters library and election building, coming from library funds and bonding. The $5.7 million health building is being paid from capital projects reserve while beginning of “three-year critical flood projects” is coming from $27 million in bonds.