County budget talks nearing completion

By Larry Tucker
editor@wood.cm
Posted 8/4/22

Wood County commissioners continued budget workshops last Thursday, reviewing what had previously been discussed in other workshops.

One of the most pressing concerns commissioners have been …

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County budget talks nearing completion

Posted

Wood County commissioners continued budget workshops last Thursday, reviewing what had previously been discussed in other workshops.

One of the most pressing concerns commissioners have been dealing with is the rising and fluctuating costs of fuel and travel expenses throughout the county departments. A 20% increase in fuel cost has been included in the budget proposal talks. 

Wood County citizens will find the commissioners lowering the tax rate again this budget cycle. Last year’s rate was $.5525, but Auditor Terry Sellars said this year’s rate can be lowered and still cover budget needs. 

Commissioners have responded positively on a cost of living raise of 4% for all full-time county employees. Commissioners have agreed to raise the per diem from $42 to $50 per day for meals.

Requests from the district attorney’s office for a civil attorney, another investigator and administrative assistant will not be in the new budget. The sheriff’s department will add one jailer, but Sheriff Kelly Cole’s request for two additional dispatchers, two more deputies and one more jailer will not be approved in the 2023 budget. Cole’s request to move a clerk’s position to a deputy will be approved. A request from the information technology department to add a position will not be approved.

Elections Administrator Laura Wise will be able to move her current part-time help to full-time in the new budget. In the treasurer’s office, commissioners will approve an increase in part-time pay from $5,000 to $10,500 for the year. 

In the tax office, commissioners agreed to move one-part-time to full-time and keep one part-time employee. The auditor’s request for part-time help will also be a part of the new budget.

Nothing in the upcoming budget is final until commissioners approve it in September.

Commissioners will continue budget preparation Aug. 9 after their regular meeting which is scheduled for 9 a.m.