Wood County Budget Issues

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Updated: 7/07/2014 4:00 P.M.

A new fiscal year brings the same old problems for Wood County.

Final numbers aren't in yet, but Wood County's budget carryover from the 2013-2014 fiscal year is still expected to be less than it was a year ago.

The commission president says things are not expected to get better next year.

"That being the case, we have to sit down and have a serious discussion about where the financing is coming from for the future," says Commission President Wayne Dunn, "and have a serious discussion about making sure the government has enough money coming in to take care of the needs of the community."

Dunn says that could involve raising revenues.

When asked if that might include raising the county tax levy, he responded, "Everything should be on the table".

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With tight budgets the new normal, Wood County works to change how it spends the money it has.

The commission Thursday morning revisited a policy it revised last year regarding the issuing of purchasing orders.

it approved reducing to $1,500 the minimum amount the county can spend for purchases without competitive bidding.

That recommendation comes from Wood County Prosecuting Attorney Jason Wharton, who calls it a "check and balance" issue.

The issue began last year, when the commissioners thought their office staff was reviewing financial requests.

"And the question was asked, does our staff review that? And when they review it, they have questions and do not issue the purchase order, that's against our guidelines," says Commissioner Blair Couch. "In our existing purchasing policy, it's not our staff duties and responsibilities to review the requisitions. They're just supposed to give them."

Meanwhile, the sheriff's office is urging the commission to fund a replacement for director of administrative operations T.R. Smith.

Smith is retiring at the end of June, and will be off the payroll by September.

There's interest, however, by Commissioner Steve Gainer in using the money for that position to fund deputy pay raises.

The commission also certified the results of the May 13th primary.

There were no recount requests from last week's canvass.


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