County approves interim budget

May 31, 2012 • Local News

The Chaves County Commission gave final approval to an interim budget, free of layoffs, cuts in services, employee benefits and pay, that consists of more than $23 million in projected spending for [auth] the 2012-2013 fiscal year, and prepares for the expansion of the Chaves County Detention Center, during its regular business meeting Wednesday. The budget now requires state approval.

“For us we’re 99 percent done,” said County Manager Stan Riggs.

Commissioners examined the operating budget, which is slightly higher than last year’s, during a workshop last week. Riggs estimated 2012-2013 revenues to increase by three percent and expenditures to rise between four and five percent.

The Road Department and the CCDC, which account for the largest budget items, are projected to increase their spending. High oil prices are prompting difficulties for the department’s chip seal program. Fifty-eight miles of chip sealed road must be maintained this fiscal year at a cost of $18,800, an increase from what the county originally projected. The department is projected to spend more than $5.5 million in the upcoming fiscal year.

The CCDC is projected to spend more than $4.5 million. The county will be using money from its reserves to finance the design, construction and renovation of the detention center. While the commissioners toyed with the idea of increasing the county’s gross receipts tax, they ultimately chose to look internally at their budget to finance the renovations.

In other business, commissioners decided to vacate five roads, akin to driveways, to include: Los Alamos Road, Buckeye Road, California Draw Road, Snowberry Road and Helena Road. Vacation means the county will give up ownership of these roads. The commission opted to maintain seven county roads, originally discussed to be taken off maintenance.

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