The Calhoun County Board of Commissioners adopted 2021 budgets in what they describe as the most challenging in a decade.

The Board of Commissioners adopted 2021 budgets, with no changes from what was presented at the November 17 public hearing. The budget adoption includes approval of department-level user fee schedules, authorized staffing levels and the annual appropriations resolution. While the county does not plan any lay-offs multiple departments within the county will leave a combined total of 22 vacancies open for the remainder of the year.

The appropriations resolution set forth budgetary controls, salaries for elected officials and non-union employee pay scale levels, and property tax millage rates planned to be levied. The County is not recommending increases in user fees, pending the results of an independent cost study started earlier this year but was delayed due to COVID-19 restrictions. There were no recommended increases in millage rates for County taxpayers to bear, except for the addition of the new voter-approved 0.2 mills for countywide parks enhancements. Despite revenue constraints, a significant reduction in the portion of the County's $46 Million General Fund budget needed to cover employee benefits costs allowed for the continuation of our long-term strategy to grant inflation-level pay increases for employees.

This year's budget planning process was the most challenging in a decade due to diminished local revenue sources and many unknowns about the upcoming year. To balance the General Fund and Road Department budgets, many departments have agreed to keep recently vacated positions unfilled into next year, including 8 in the Sheriff's Office, 6 in the Courts, 7 in the Road Department, one part-time in the Clerk's Office and several others within administrative departments.. Thankfully no immediate layoffs were required within the budget process. But, these ongoing vacancies may not be sustainable depending on how services to the public continue to return to full capacity, and so ongoing budget monitoring will be crucial. ~Calhoun County Administrator/Controller Kelli D. Scott

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