January 27, 2021

Supervisors forging ahead through budget season

GREENFIELD — The Adair County Board of Supervisors are forging ahead through budget season in a little different fashion this year, hearing from many of the entities they pipe funding into over the phone or by video conferencing instead of in person.

Supervisors Chair Steve Shelley told the newspaper that several county department heads and groups had spoken with the supervisors as of Monday. In terms of dollars, the supervisors were well over half way through the requests, but in terms of individual presentations, they were just a little over half way, he estimated.

“Requests are right in line with what they were a year ago, minus inflation,” Shelley said. “The projected wage increase by the compensation board, we’ll have to see where we’re at with that when we’re done.”

In the Dec. 23 newspaper, it was reported that compensation board member Jayne Lents had relayed to the supervisors that their group was recommending county attorney Melissa Larson and sheriff Jeff Vandewater receive a 5.5% raise with 4.5% increases going to all other elected officials, but the supervisors chairman at the time, John Twombly, stated that the board would commit to penciling those figures into the budget but would lower them if keeping them meant raising the tax levy.

“We’ll see where we end up at,” Shelley said. “It’ll probably need cut, is my estimation, but we’ll see what money we have without raising taxes. We are not wanting to increase the millage rate at all if we can do it.”

Shelley said he and members of the board didn’t seem to have a preconceived notion of how large budget requests would be this year in comparison to other years. He said most of the COVID-19 related expenditures have been accounted for by federal aid organizations and counties have received.

Fiscal year 2022 begins July 1. Counties are required to have their budgets compiled by March 31, according to Adair County Auditor Mandy Berg.

Caleb Nelson

Caleb Nelson has served as News Editor of the Adair County Free Press and Fontanelle Observer since Oct. 2017. He and his wife Kilee live in Greenfield. In Greenfield and the greater Adair County area, he values the opportunity to tell peoples' stories, enjoys playing guitar, following all levels of sports, and being a part of his local church.