POINT PLEASANT — The Mason County Commission has approved its budget for Fiscal Year 2017-18 and it looks very similar to last year’s ledger, with no major changes for the better, or worse.
The budget, which goes into effect on July 1, was discussed at last week’s regular commission meeting.
Mason County’s total budget for FY 2017-18 is $7,251.261, up slightly from last year’s estimated total budget of $7,100,614.
Once again, the county commission will absorb an increase in Public Employee Insurance Agency premiums without passing that cost to the employees. This year’s premiums will increase by six percent. County employees have also not had raises in the last few budget cycles.
The state sets the amount for which the commission must fund all courthouse agencies and these agencies must be funded first by law, with any remaining money going to outside agencies. The general budgets, including insurance costs, for the following county offices in FY 2017-18 are: County Commission Office $685,400; County Clerk’s Office $467,091; Circuit Clerk’s Office $364,905; Sheriff’s Department (treasurer) $297,132, Sheriff’s Department (law enforcement) $1.3 million, Sheriff’s Department (service of process) $90,075; Prosecuting Attorney’s Office $411,274; Assessor’s Office $330,582.
As it stands, this is what commissioners approved in terms of funding outside agencies for FY 2017-18: Development Authority, $20,000. Ambulance Authority, $30,000. Mason County Fair, $3,000. Libraries, $20,000. Health Department, $12,500. Local mental hygiene cases (rate set by the state), $20,000.
Fire Departments: New Haven $9,750. Mason $9,500. Point Pleasant $10,750. Valley $9,750. Leon $9,250. Flatrock $9,250.
Community Buildings: Hartford, New Haven, Henderson, Letart, Baden, Beech Hill, Gallipolis Ferry all receive $1,000. Leon Town Park receives $400. (These funds assist with utility costs.)
Festivals: No festivals are budgeted to receive county funds for FY 2017-18.
The county’s coal severance fund budget is $50,000, the same as last year. The regional jail bill is estimated at $500,000 and the home confinement program budget is estimated at $298,215.
The budget, unanimously approved by Commissioners Sam Nibert, Tracy Doolittle and Rick Handley, now goes to the West Virginia State Auditor for review and approval.
Reach Beth Sergent at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.