The Baker County Commission, grappling with the same dilemma its dealt with for the past few years, is once again trying to figure out how to balance a new budget when projected expenses exceed income from state and local revenue sources.
But the board got a pretty good start on it this week. During a three-hour workshop on the afternoon of August 27, commissioners and County Manager C.J. Thompson cut nearly $400,000 from a proposed $24.6 million budget.
That still leaves a $1.6 million deficit to be filled with additional revenue, or eliminated by spending cuts. However, Mr. Thompson said county departments had already absorbed significant budget cuts and didn’t know how much more slashing they could take.
“I’m happy with my department heads,” he said. “There are some departments that can’t be cut (any further).”
The next round of budget talks will begin at 3 pm on September 4.
A list of the reductions made by the county manager to trim the deficit included the elimination of $197,600 in contingency funding, $50,000 by removing two proposed new trucks in the road department, $39,000 by not filling an open road department position and $49,050 by eliminating a new Emergency Medical Services lieutenant position.