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Thu, Sept. 19

Supervisors start budgeting process

Draft copies of the 700-page fiscal year 2005-06 budget hit the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors desks Monday morning in Cottonwood.

County Administrator Jim Holst delivered the copies in preparation for budget hearings that start next week.

"All of the department budgets are in, and have been reviewed, calculated and copied," Holst said.

Department budget hearings are to take place April 25-28, and final hearings will be May 2.

Holst said the budget document includes department requests and program changes. He said the anticipated expenditures exceed normal revenues by a minimum of $3 million.

Included in the budget is a 2.5 percent increase in the county's contribution, and a 2.5 percent salary range adjustment for county employees' share in the state retirement system. He also included an additional 1 percent in anticipation of the board continuing the merit increase program.

The administrator said he anticipates an 11 percent to 12 percent General Fund revenue increase through property taxes.

Holst said the budget also includes a significant amount of money for replacement of county vehicles. He said the budget book includes a summary of all requested program changes. Those changes will increase the budget by $6 million.

Supervisor Chip Davis asked if the budget book included a list of potential program shifts and how they would correspond with board philosophy.

Holst said he anticipated that the board would discuss specific shifts during the budget hearings.

"We have quite a few meetings scheduled, and it is going to take a number of follow-up meetings before the budget is finalized," Holst said.

The budget hearings will begin at 9 a.m. on Monday with the finance, human resources and health departments. At 1 p.m., the hearings will include the county attorney, public defender, sheriff and jail district, and the board of supervisors.

The budget hearings will resume at 1 p.m. on Tuesday. That hearing will include records management, management information systems, the treasurer's office, the school superintendent's office, the recorder's office, voter registration and elections, and the assessor Œs office.

On Wednesday, budget hearings will begin at 9 a.m. with HURF, solid waste, emergency management, regional roads, fleet management and capital improvements.

The budget hearings will continue at 9 a.m. on Thursday morning with the Superior Court, adult and juvenile probation, and general services. At 1 p.m. the hearings will include the justice courts and the clerk of the Superior Court.

The departmental budget hearings will be in the supervisors' hearing room at the Yavapai County Administrative Services Building, 1015 Fair St., in Prescott.

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