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Wed, Sept. 18

Supervisors tentatively OK budget

COTTONWOOD – Yavapai County supervisors gave tentative approval Monday to a $177 million budget for the year that began July 1.

The budget sets a property tax rate that is the same as this past year.

Supervisors were quick to note that although the budget represents a major increase from this past year's $148 million, it includes about $26 million in new capital costs.

Those costs include an expanded Camp Verde jail, the new Fain Road east of Prescott Valley, a second new administration building in Prescott, and an extension of Mingus Avenue in Cottonwood.

The tentative approval precedes the supervisors' scheduled final budget approval on Aug. 5 during their regular meeting in Prescott.

"This is the meeting that sets a ceiling on the budget," County Administrator Jim Holst said of the tentative budget adoption.

On Aug. 5, the supervisors will conduct a public hearing and state-required "Truth in Taxation" hearing before adopting a final budget.

After supervisors made preliminary cuts to department heads' requests recently, they allowed department heads to try again to get supervisors to approve what they considered especially important needs. Those secondary requests totaled $215,000.

On Monday, supervisors granted $162,000 worth of those requests that they earlier had denied.

They used part of the county's $1.3 million contingency or "rainy-day" fund to pay for those extra costs.

Following are some of the requests that supervisors originally denied and then granted Monday:

• Clerk of Superior Court – approximately $27,000 for a clerk in the Verde office.

• Health Department – $26,215 for a medical records employee in the new Prescott Valley office.

• Sheriff's Office – $40,000 for overtime, $6,000 for temporary salaries, $4,500 for jailers' ammunition, and $1,400 for jail maintenance.

• Superior Courts – $35,000 for an administrative assistant to Administrator Deborah Schaefer.

The supervisors also tentatively approved budgets Monday for the county Flood Control District, county Free Library District, county Jail District, and eight local improvement and sanitary districts.

Contact Joanna Dodder at jdodder@prescottaz.com.

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