The Effingham County Board has approved the County’s budget for fiscal year 2016. The Board has had to table the vote at a number of special meetings held this month, as the budget couldn’t be approved until insurance bids had been received. With insurance bids received and approved, the Board was finally able to act on the budget Monday. A couple items of note from the budget, due to the late approval of insurance bids the budget has an increase in insurance receipts and contingency items over what was initially projected. Additionally, the budget will begin with a deficit of $42,414 as contract negotiations are not complete with the Fraternal Order of Police. Once those negotiations are completed the deficit will be erased, with a slight surplus expected.
The Board also approved an ordinance that will allow a committee seat to be vacated if a member is continuously absent over the course of the year. The idea behind the ordinance is to make sure committee members are present and active.
In other action the Board approved the County’s participation in the State’s Attorney Appellate Prosecutor Program. Participation in the program allows the County to bring in a special prosecutor in the event that their is a conflict with a case that can’t be handled by anyone in the State’s Attorney’s office. The County can also receive legal assistance through the program. Participation in the program costs $12,000. The County has used the program for over 20 years.
The Board also approved a 2016 budget resolution for County Maintenance. The budget item allows the use of funds to purchase materials and rent equipment for maintenance projects. Approved in the same vote was a resolution to use 2016 Motor Fuel Tax payments for the County Engineer salary, and to reimburse the Motor Fuel Tax fund with federal funds.