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Jefferson County might take a harder look at budget

April 23, 2007|by DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Jefferson County officials are talking about re-examining how the county's budget is formulated after a tough budget process in which the commission missed a deadline for getting its budget passed and wrestled with funding needs.

The Jefferson County Commission missed a March 28 deadline before completing its recent 2007-08 budget and at one point, the spending plan was $8 million in the red.

Commissioner Greg Corliss said previously that it was "painful" in what the commission wanted to fund but was not able to set aside money for.

The commissioners have talked recently about fine-tuning the budgeting process. They want to pay closer attention to the budgeting needs of the county throughout the year before they reach the "compressed time limit" in the beginning of the year when the final budget is crafted.

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Commission President Frances Morgan said Sunday she is not sure the commission can work on the budget all year. But Morgan said she believes it would be helpful for the commissioners to have a series of workshop meetings to re-examine the county's budget process.

Morgan said the approximately $22 million budget that was passed recently reflected an "explosion" in the demand for public services and Morgan said she does not want to see the budget grow too quickly.

Commissioner Dale Manuel suggested a meeting involving department heads where the commissioners could get a more detailed look at budget issues facing the county.

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