Commissioners approve proposed budget

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In approving the proposed balanced budget for 2014, Teller County commissioners recognized the value of the county's employees and department heads who held the line on requests.

Balanced at $26,854,722 for 2014, the proposed budget, presented to commissioners Oct. 10 by Vicki Caldwell, is both sacrificial, in some respects, and optimistic in others.

“While the county survived the 2012 fire season, we are still waiting to see the financial impacts of this year's flooding,” states the budget message.

As well, the message recognizes the county's conservative spending practices in addition to employee cohesion and unity in limiting requests for operations.

The message states that the county continues to function at about 80 percent of the 2010 workforce levels which results in reduced personalized services. Nonetheless, the message offers a hopeful tidbit for county employees with a “compensation pool” set aside within the budget. Employee benefits include health and retirement plans.

However, in a year when property valuations were expected to go down, they did, but not to the extent planned by the budget office. Last year, the county collected $7,606, 662 in property- tax revenue, a 2.6 percent decrease from the year before.

The loss was, in part, neutralized by the value of mineral production, resulting in a small increase in the total county assessed values.

“We are cautiously optimistic that everything will go well,” said commission chair Dave Paul. Commissioner Norm Steen added, “I'm really impressed with the level of engagement, fiscal responsibility, professionalism and expertise.”

Commissioners are scheduled to approve the budget Dec. 12.

●In other news, Commissioner Marc Dettenrieder announced the resignation of John Posusta, executive director of Southern Teller County Economic Development Coalition. Posusta has accepted a position with a consulting firm that specializes in capital fundraising for hospitals. “He's going up to the oil-boom area of North Dakota,” Dettenrieder said.

●County clerk and recorder Krystal Brown announced the ballots for the Nov. 5 election will be mailed to registered voters Oct. 15. Ballots were mailed to voters who lives overseas, including the military, were mailed Sept. 21.

●County treasurer Bob Campbell announced that the online tax-lien classes are at 2:30 p.m. Oct. 21 in Centennial Hall and at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 21 in the Woodland Park Council Chambers. The online sale begins Oct. 31 and ends Nov. 4.

●Commissioners approved the request by Brian Sherman, manager of the Crystola Roadhouse for a liquor license. Dennis Kahnke owns the building.