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County studies budget

Jason Ferguson
Published: Thursday, July 11th, 2013

The Custer County Commission began crafting the county’s preliminary 2014 budget at its July 3 meeting, with most of the budgets set to remain static or experience only slight increases or decreases.
County deputy auditor Nancy Christensen led the discussion, beginning with a projected 10 percent increase in the county insurance. Christensen said the auditor’s office has not received firm numbers as to what the increase will be, but said historically the increase has been six to eight percent, so a 10 percent increase was budgeted.
Commissioner Jim Lintz asked if the county should get its new quotes locked in right away, as he has heard rumors that premiums could rise 200-300 percent with the bulk of the implementation of the new health care reform set to kick in toward the end of this year and into next year. Christensen said the officials from the insurance pool the county is a part of said a 10 percent increase is a reasonable estimate.
Because 2014 is an election year, some of the salary from the auditor’s budget will be moved into the election budget. Each of the preliminary budgets also have a 50-cent-per-hour raise for employees calculated into them, along with a $1,500 raise for salaried employees. All the figures are preliminary and no raises or final budgets will be finalized until September.
The Custer County Sheriff’s Department budget is expected to be slightly less, around 3 percent, in 2014. That decrease is because there are less vehicles slated to be replaced this year within the department.

The Custer County Commission began crafting the county’s preliminary 2014 budget at its July 3 meeting, with most of the budgets set to remain static or experience only slight increases or decreases.

County deputy auditor Nancy Christensen led the discussion, beginning with a projected 10 percent increase in the county insurance. Christensen said the auditor’s office has not received firm numbers as to what the increase will be, but said historically the increase has been six to eight percent, so a 10 percent increase was budgeted.

Commissioner Jim Lintz asked if the county should get its new quotes locked in right away, as he has heard rumors that premiums could rise 200-300 percent with the bulk of the implementation of the new health care reform set to kick in toward the end of this year and into next year. Christensen said the officials from the insurance pool the county is a part of said a 10 percent increase is a reasonable estimate.

Because 2014 is an election year, some of the salary from the auditor’s budget will be moved into the election budget. Each of the preliminary budgets also have a 50-cent-per-hour raise for employees calculated into them, along with a $1,500 raise for salaried employees. All the figures are preliminary and no raises or final budgets will be finalized until September.

The Custer County Sheriff’s Department budget is expected to be slightly less, around 3 percent, in 2014. That decrease is because there are less vehicles slated to be replaced this year within the department.

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