County Oks $11.6 million budget

Chelle Delaney

The Quay County Commission approved an $11.6 million preliminary expense budget for the county’s 2009-2010 fiscal year beginning July 1 at its meeting on Friday.

This compares with $11 million in expenses for the previous 2008-2009 fiscal year budget, said Quay County Manager Richard Primrose.

Projected revenues for the upcoming fiscal year are $10.6 million. The majority of the $1 million difference in expenses and income is for loans on new fire equipment being purchased by the county’s fire departments, Primrose said.

“It looks like we don’t have a balanced budget, but we do. One reason is that the cash reserves are carried forward,” Primrose said. There is about $600,000 in capital improvements, or cash reserves, that are being carried forward from the previous fiscal year, Primrose said.

The capital improvements are there in case the county has any emergency expenditures that could come up because “we know there are no capital improvements coming from the Legislature,” Primrose said.

One difference in the budget is a three percent raise in salaries for the county’s 70 employees, Primrose said. At a budget workshop, the commission reviewed the county’s finances and decided that the county could afford the $37,000 in additional expenses, he said.

Overall, salaries accounted for $1.9 million in fiscal year 2008-2009, and will account for $1.937 million in the upcoming budget, Primrose said.

While the rising cost of health care is often the cause of sizable increases in