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Commissioners inform state of budget delay

April 02, 2007|by DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.VA. 0 The Jefferson County Commissioners are struggling to formulate a budget for the upcoming fiscal year and missed a March 28 deadline for getting the document filed with the state.

The commission notified state officials that the budget will be late and the state might "write us up" for it, Commissioner Dale Manuel said Sunday.

"But it won't cost us any more money or anything, as I understand it," Manuel said.

"They might send us a nasty letter," Commissioner Greg Corliss said.

Corliss said it has been difficult balancing the funding needs of the county with the county's available money. At one point, the spending plan was $8 million over budget and was whittled to $440,000 over, Corliss said.

"It was painful in what we wanted to do and what we couldn't do," Corliss said.

The commissioners are dealing with a variety of funding issues, like proposed pay increases for county yees, various agencies in the area that are seeking funding and $1 million that is being requested for a new ambulance station.

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The Jefferson County Ambulance Authority operates from a building along Lancaster Circle in Ranson, W.Va., but there is not enough room for the growing operation, said Ed Smith, operations manager for the ambulance authority.

"There's going to be more and more pressures," said Corliss, referring to the county government's growing operations.

Manuel said he does not like some of the salary increases in the proposed 2007-08 budget. Proposed salary increases for county employees range from 3.5 percent to 6 percent, while other salaries are proposed to be increased by as much 20 percent, Manuel said.

"The salaries in there are just totally out of whack," Manuel said.

Corliss said it might be two more days before a budget is passed.

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