County plans to trim budget


Members of the county council plan to trim more than $1.1 million before they approve next year’s budget.

Hearings for the 2020 budget begin at 9 a.m. Wednesday at the Jackson County Courthouse Annex, 220 E. Walnut St., Brownstown.

General fund revenues are projected to be $12,112,545, council President Dave Hall said. That compares to the $13,264,673 in requests from the county’s 31 departments.

That leaves the council with $1,152,128 to trim before it adopts the budget in October.

The council adopted a $12.3 million budget last year for 2019.

The state sends a growth factor, which limits the increase in a budget from the previous year. Hall said this year’s threshold is 3.4%.

The council will first attempt to factor in a 3% increase in pay for county employees and then trim the budget with that in mind. Employees also received a 3% raise this year.

"That pay raise is obviously not guaranteed, but we have worked that in, and we want to build around that," he said. "The last thing we want to do is cut the raise for employees."

Hall said the biggest request will come from Jackson County Emergency Medical Services, which has requested a third full-time operating ambulance in Seymour.

The department has four trucks that operate throughout the county with two in Seymour and one each in Brownstown and Crothersville. The request comes as the department has had a sharp increase in runs through the last two years, Hall said.

The department had a record number of calls in 2017 with 6,335. That number increased by 13% in 2018 when the department completed 7,165 calls.

"That has created a strain on them," Hall said.

Hall, who serves on the county’s 911 board, said Jackson County EMS expects to complete about 7,300 calls this year.

Adding another ambulance would require it to be staffed with four employees. Hall said the county would have to consider how much it would cost for the four salaries plus benefits.

He said the department has operated with four trucks since 1994 but has since added a truck during the daytime hours.

As far as the rest of the budget, Hall said the council prioritizes being able to balance the budget without raising taxes. With more than $1 million to cut, Hall said that presents a challenge.

"When you have 30 departments and each give you their individual request, whatever they’re requesting is important to them, and we have to weigh that against the other requests," he said. "We try to be reasonable."

[sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”If you go” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]

What: Jackson County Council regular meeting and budget hearing

When: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday

Where: Jackson County Courthouse Annex, 220 E. Walnut St., Brownstown


8 to 9 a.m.;Regular meeting

9 a.m.;Superior Court I

9:10 a.m.;Drug and alcohol board

9:20 a.m.;Superior Court II

9:30 a.m.;Probation

9:40 a.m.;Soil and water

9:50 a.m.;Community corrections

10 a.m.;Weights and measures

10:10 a.m.;Emergency telephone

10:20 a.m.;Sheriff’s department

10:30 a.m.;Recorder

10:40 a.m.;Coroner

10:50 a.m.;Public defender

11 a.m.;Assessor

11:10 a.m.;Purdue Extension

11:20 a.m.;Planning and zoning

11:30 a.m.;Veterans services

11:40 a.m.;Emergency management

11:50 a.m.;Juvenile home


1 p.m.;Health department

1:10 p.m.;Clerk

1:20 p.m.;Park and recreation

1:30 p.m.;Visitor center

1:40 p.m.;Emergency medical services

1:50 p.m.;Highway department

2 p.m.;Prosecutor

2:20 p.m.;Circuit court

2:30 p.m.;Custodian

2:40 p.m.;Commissioners

2:50 p.m.;Surveyor

3 p.m.;Auditor


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