By Tammy Gray –
A $113.3 million tentative budget was adopted by the Navajo County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.
The 2012-13 budget includes $39.3 million in general fund expenditures, and $74 million in capital and other special projects. General fund expenditures are mainly used for employee salaries and benefits, as well as for maintenance, supplies and administrative expenses.
The total budget of $113.3 million is down slightly from the previous fiscal year’s budget of $113.9 million. County expenditures did not come close to last year’s budgeted amount, however, and totaled an estimated $61.3 million through the end of the fiscal year, which was completed on June 30.
Anticipated general fund revenues for the upcoming fiscal year are estimated at slightly lower amounts than those received in the last fiscal year. For example, tax revenues are estimated at $932,492 this fiscal year, but came in at $1,010,780 last year. County Manager James Jayne noted that staff prefers to be cautious when it comes to revenue estimates to make sure that the county has the funds necessary to balance the budget.
As in past years, criminal justice makes up the bulk of the general fund expenditures. Total budget for the sheriff’s office is $6.6 million, compared to $6.4 million last year. The county attorney’s office budget is $5.8 million, compared to $7.8 million last year. The jail operations budget is also reduced at $6.9 million this year, compared to $9.9 million last year. Other criminal justice functions are budgeted at $1.1 million for juvenile detention, $472,008 for legal defender, $4.4 million for superior court administration, $1.2 million for public defender, $1.6 million for clerk of the superior court, $1.6 million for juvenile probation and $2.5 million for adult probation.
The largest single department budget is public works at $17.4 million. That is down from the previous year’s budget of $20 million, although actual expenditures for the last year are estimated at only $7.8 million.
Public health services funding is increased by close to a million dollars, going from $4 million last year to $4.9 million this year. Estimated actual expenditures last year were $3 million.
The county budget has funds set aside for two major capital projects, including $5.2 million for jail construction and $749,950 for a health building. Similar funds were set aside for a jail project last year, but were not expended.
The board still must adopt a final budget and may make changes to the tentative budget prior to final approval, though the total cannot be increased.