County unveils budget Tuesday




What: Moffat County Commissioners meetingWhen: 8:30 a.m. TuesdayWhere: Commissioners' chambers at the Moffat County Courthouse, 221 W. Victory WayDetails: Commissioners will present the 2006 budget for public comment

Moffat County commissioners will present the 2006 budget for public review and comment at their regular meeting Tuesday.

Commissioners, who are encouraging residents to attend the meeting, will present the budget 9 a.m. in the commissioners' chambers at the Moffat County Courthouse, 221 W. Victory Way.

Commissioners have been working on the budget since July, but the budget process didn't begin in earnest until last week. Commissioners had to wait until voters decided Referendum 1A on Nov. 1, before they knew how much they would have to spend.

Referendum 1A would have given the county about $200,000 more to spend in 2006, but voters rejected it by a slim margin.

Because voters rejected 1A, the county will have $9.83 million to spend in 2006, about $300,000 more than last year.

Even with the increase, commissioners are asking county departments to cut 5 percent from last year's budget to pay for new equipment for the Road and Bridge Department and the Sheriff's Office. The cuts also will offset rising fuel prices.

Some of the cuts could include a reduction in pest spraying and snow plowing by the county and selling Shadow Mountain Clubhouse.

Commissioners are encouraging residents to attend Tuesday's meeting to comment on the county's budget.

"We need some feedback, we need some input," Commissioner Saed Tayyara said.

State law requires that commissioners sign a finalized budget by Dec. 13.

If residents have advice or concerns, they should address the commissioners before the budget is finalized, Tayyara said.

The public rarely attends the public meetings to discuss the budget, Commissioner Darryl Steele said.

Because the budget is so complex it can be difficult for the public to understand, Steele said.

Like Tayyara, Steele encouraged the public to attend Tuesday's meeting.

"If anyone has a problem, we certainly do want them to come in," Steele said.

The citizen's budget advisory committee will also present recommendations at Tuesday's meeting, budget analyst Tin--neal Gerber said.

The committee is made up of seven residents who have been working with the budget for the past two months.

Last year, the committee's recommendations included asking the county to put Referendum 1A on the ballot.

Brandon Johansson can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 213, or bjohansson@craigdailypress.com.

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