County Presents 2018-2019 Preliminary Budget Guidelines

The Mason County Commission held a briefing Monday morning to present the preliminary budget guidelines for 2018 and 2019. The Commissioners’ briefing was short but well attended with many Mason County Sheriff Deputies, their families and other supporters spilling out of the commission chambers.

The County Commissioners need to cut $2 Million from the 2017 budget and have asked all Current Expense funded departments to make reductions. This is due to expenditures for the end of 2016 exceeding what was anticipated and making Current Expense cash flow unable to support 2017 budgeted expenditures.

The largest hit will be to the Sheriff’s Office to the tune of nearly $900,000 which means several deputies and other Sheriff staff have received layoff notices. A public hearing on these cuts to the 2017 budget is scheduled for 9:30 AM July 18th.

However, this lack of funds is expected to continue. The County Treasurer and County Budget Manager are forecasting an 8.5 percent decrease in Current Expense revenues next year and with dwindling reserves, the Commissioner say in a letter to elected officials and department heads, they “will not entertain increases in the 2018 Current Expense budgets.”

The Commissioners are asking department heads and elected officials to prepare preliminary budgets for next year with 17.5 percent reductions from their amended 2017 budgets and prepare a 2019 preliminary budget at the same level as 2018.

Those budgets are due to the Auditor’s Office by August 8th.