PRINCETON — The county's fiscal body wrapped up a second day of budget workshops Wednesday, reviewing budget requests from all but one of the county's 27 departments.
Gibson County Council members meet again at 9 a.m. Aug. 1 to review 2019 budget requests for the sheriff's office, jail, community corrections and E911 departments, then start working on each budget at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 14, beginning with discussion of potential salary increases for employees.
Department head budget requests during Tuesday and Wednesday budget workshops included potential pay increases from 75 cents per hour to as much as $3,000 to $5,000 per year for some positions.
The council sets salaries and approves budgets for every department in county government before submitting the proposed budget to the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance for final approval.
County Council President Jay Riley and Gibson County Auditor Sherri Smith said department budget requests mainly remained at the same level or in some cases, reduced proposed expenses.
The largest addition to the proposed budget for 2019 would be the estimated $850,000 cost to increase the grade at the county's two landfills in order to eventually reduce or be released from the county's post-closure monitoring expenses.
Other budget workshop discussion included courthouse security and technology upgrades.
Once the budgets are finalized, the council conducts a public hearing and first reading of the proposed budget Aug. 31, and plans a final adoption hearing Sept. 11 before forwarding the proposed budget to the state.
County government budgets include the general fund, which includes most government departments, as well as reassessment, highway department, local roads and streets, cumulative bridge fund, health department and cumulative building fund.
The county's 2018 total budget approved by DLGF was nearly $21 million, with nearly $14.8 million allocated to the general fund. Based on a net assessed valuation of $1.7 billion, the DLGF approved a combined property tax rate of 58 cents per $100 assessed valuation to raise $12.4 million of the total budget from property taxes.
The council also reviews other taxing units' proposed budgets before they are submitted to the DLGF for final approval.