Budget assessment complete | CraigDailyPress.com

Budget assessment complete

Committee's trial run likely will lead to permanent board

The trial run of the Moffat County citizens advisory budget committee was a success, according to those who sat on the committee.

The committee’s members met in the Moffat County commissioner chambers Tuesday for a public hearing of their analysis of the 2005 county budget.

The eight-member board unanimously agreed that Moffat County should consider creating special tax districts for the Moffat County Library and Craig Cemetery and conduct a countywide efficiency assessment.

The county expends about $400,000 to fund the library. The advisory committee suggested the commissioners begin a campaign to inform county residents of the restraints this puts on the county.

Commissioners Les Hampton and Darryl Steele voiced concerns that creating such a district would force taxpayers to fund duplicate services — such as accounting — for the library and county.

But the library likely still could use such county services even if it were its own district, Commissioner Marianna Raftopoulos said.

A library district could require a 4 mill tax levy to operate, Hampton estimated. County residents might be more open to a tax district if the county was willing to drop taxes by 1 mill, Raftopoulos said.

The advisory committee also was concerned that maintenance and equipment replacements are on inefficient schedules. They advised the commissioners to review the systems of expensive departments, such as Road and Bridge, for areas in which efficiency can be increased.

Committee member Frank Hanel was concerned that some county employees are paid three times more than their counterparts in the private sector when the county benefit package is factored into their pay.

The advisory committee met during October and November to learn about budget issues and draft its report.

The commissioners plan to make the advisory committee an official board, similar to those that oversee the libraries and senior housing. Members will be appointed by the commissioners and serve a set term.

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