October 2, 2013

County Commission accepts preliminary budget

A public hearing to hear the McLean County preliminary budget gain approval had no public comment Monday afternoon in Washburn. It did have comments from several county department heads looking for extra funds for their department and salaries.
    Commissioners heard all comments, went over every budget line by tedious line and made their decision to approve the budget with minor changes. They meet again Thursday (today) to approve the final budget. But after the approval on Monday, the total budget amount can only be decreased.
    The longest portion of the hearing included talk on proposed salary increases for elected officials, many asking for 15 percent raises. The recommended salary increase was based on a 2.1 percent cost of living increase, and a 3.9 percent performance evaluation increase. That 6 percent baseline could go up or down based on the performance of the individual.
    The total proposed increase to salaries was $324,520. After much discussion that number was lowered slightly.
    While most all staff received a raise, McLean County auditor Les Korgel worked it out so that there was a zero increase on mills, so the county will not feel an added tax burden.

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