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County budget approved by committee

Lake County’s budget committee approved a budget for the 2014/15 fiscal year after two days of discussions last week.

The committee met on Wednesday, April 23, and Friday, April 25, reviewing the next year’s budget by individual department.  Ultimately, the motion to approve the budget, which totals $41,055,221, passed unanimously.

The tax rate for 2014/15 will amount to $3.7619/$1,000 of assessed property value.

Amongst the highlights were open request items for the airport and sheriff’s department that saw approval by the committee.

For the sheriff’s department, a taser/lease purchase will provide a total of 20 tasers for the department, plus one spare, and include replacement of all units at the end of the five-year agreement.

Sheriff Phil McDonald presented the proposal to the committee, noting the initial purchase price is $25,000, with a yearly $4,100 charge for the next four years that covers maintenance.

Also approved by the committee was a records management system upgrade for the department that totals $78,000.  This upgrade will streamline as well as provide better security for deputies’ reports, McDonald said.

The lion’s share of this cost is $64,000, with the balance covering the costs for needed servers and hardware in the transition from the old system up to the newer technology, he said.

Admin. Asst. Denise Thorsted noted that there would be no additional information technology services related to this installation, as it is part of the county’s existing services contract with AccTech.

A cluster of improvements to the Lake County Airport facility also saw approval under open requests.

The committee approved a request for $8,500 for improvements to the pilot’s lounge, $5,500 for an electrical locking gate and $30,000 for hangar ceiling improvements, totaling $44,000.

During individual departmental discussions, Lake County Roadmaster Rick DuMilieu proposed a $3 million carryover into the new year.  He noted little expected change for his department’s budget, in terms of funding next year.

The department also did not have to draw from its reserve fund this year.

“Each year we don’t have to draw anything, that’s just great,” he said.

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