The Muskingum County Commissioners are going through their annual budget.
The commissioners spoke with several department heads to go over expenditures from 2009 and hear budget requests for 2010. Commissioner Brian Hill says the county is in a good place with its budget.
"Well we just asked everybody last year to be very frugal and this is the first time in several years expenditures have been less than they were in 2008, so all departments cut back and spent less money and that helps the carry over number, but the bottom line is the revenues are still off, but it would have been worse if they hadn’t have cut back last year and helped like they did," says Commissioner Brian Hill.
Domestic Relations Judge, Jeff Hooper, came before the commissioners to give back a $34,000 surplus from his 2009 budget. Out of that $34,000, Judge Hooper is asking for around $23,000 back for a court run program.
"We are not giving any raises this year, what we are asking to give back that we gave back last year is $23,500, $24,000 that goes what is called our contractual services fund and we will run our supervised parenting program out of that," says Judge Hooper.
The supervised parenting program is used by Children’s Services and Juvenile Services. Judge Hooper asked for a 2010 budget of $566,000. That money will be used for salaries and court run programs such as custody investigations, mediation programs and the supervised parenting program.
Judge Vinsel of the Muskingum County Court also went before the commissioners and requested a budget of $352,000. That figure includes a three percent raise for employees. The commissioners say they are hesitant about raises.
"We are just trying to be responsible and look at the way the economy is and the way it is suffering so we are looking at no raises under the general fund," says Commissioner Hill.
Without the raises, Judge Vinsel is requesting a budget of $345,000. Judge Vinsel says the court has been working with the Muskingum County Sheriff’s office to cut costs by using a video-arraignment system.