CRYSTAL FALLS—Insurance premiums coupled with the cost of arresting, adjudicating and incarcerating criminals will chew up more than half of Iron County’s proposed 2013 budget, according to documents being review by the Board of Commissioners.
The county could spend $912,420 on insurance, more than 17 percent of the proposed budget. Iron County trial courts have requested $632,529, while the jail needs $617,669 to operate during 2013, according to the proposed budget. The Sheriff’s Department has requested $579,289.
The proposed budget was presented to commissioners during a meeting Nov. 13.
“It’s a very balanced budget,” Finance Committee Chairman Carl Lind told commissioners. “And it’s open to scrutiny and adjustment.”
Sheriff Mark Valesano agreed. “There is a slight increase in the sheriff’s department budget. But some things are non-discretionary,” he said, pointing out that costs for fuel and other expenses needed to patrol the county are beyond local control.
During the meeting, the board agreed to consider a two percent pay raise for elected and appointed county officials. The increase would cost an additional $70,000, according to county Administrator Sue Clisch. But commissioners missed a state-mandated October deadline for the pay increase, forcing the raise to require unanimous commission approval to before taking affect.
Taking the largest budget hits are the county administrator’s office and the prosecutor. The administrator’s office would see a reduction from $120,880 during the 2012 budget to $99,214 for 2013.
The prosecutor’s budget would continue to be cut. During 2011 the office was allocated $244,331. That was cut to $203,944 for the current budget and would be reduced again to $188,868 in the proposed budget.
The board meets again Nov. 27 at 1:30 p.m.