Supervisors begin expressing budget thoughts

Posted January 22, 2014 at 7:18 pm

by Steve Peterson

Editor’s Note: Figures below are as of the end of the Jan. 7 meeting and may have been changed. They came from requests, department head budgets, the auditor and supervisors’ discussions. At their Jan. 7 meeting, Plymouth County supervisors discussed the First Round preliminary figures regarding the 2014-2015 county budget.


Salary increases as of the first round of talks were 2.5 percent for county supervisors; 3.5 percent for elected officials; 3 percent for Plymouth County Communications Center staff; 3 percent for Plymouth County Conservation Board staff.

In addition to salary and benefit increases, the supervisors are grappling with a 9 percent increase in health insurance costs.

“It is an $800 to $900 increase per covered employee,” said Auditor Stacey Feldman.

Bond, tort, unemployment, workman’s compensation, $132,000, up 2.33 percent, to $3,000.

Supervisors’ Thoughts

Following presentations of budget requests, supervisors gave some opinions on what they would like to see final line items be.

Fair Board

The Plymouth County Fair Board had requested a 40 percent increase from $20,000 to $28,000 from the county’s General Fund.

“I like the Fair as much as anybody but their increase should be to $25,000; they have more of a chance to raise revenue than say, the Plymouth County Museum,” said Supervisor Craig Anderson.

The Plymouth County Museum requested $12,000, a 20 percent increase or $2,000.

Sheriff’s Office

The Sheriffs’ Office and its jail were at $1,007,071, up 6.44 percent from 2013-2014.

Sheriff Mike Van Otterloo said reasons for the hike include purchase of a new vehicle and possible staffing of the jail’s kitchen.

“If one or two of their personnel quit, CBM Inc. of Sioux Falls has informed us that they will drop the contract. I’m looking at hiring one full-time person,” said Van Otterloo. “It looks like we will be without a kitchen service and have to do it on our own. Right now we provide all the infrastructure and they provide the staff and bulk food. It costs about $3.70 a meal. If we do it ourselves, it costs $1.01. We know what the cost thresholds are. CBM is in it to make a profit and our site is just not big enough compared to a state penitentiary.”

Van Otterloo reported the 29-hour requirement for tops of the part-time officers is met. He would like to give some of the lower-range deputies a salary increase based on evaluation. The county jail continues to have some federal prisoners, a revenue source.

Communications Center: $386,810, 4.96 percent increase, $18,289.

District Court: $53,000, same as FY 2013-2014.

Juvenile court services, $79,000, up 38.6 percent. Supervisors discussed that this was due to a minor’s mental health needs. “This is a good representation of what we expect,” said Kass of that fund.

“We have in the past housed, depending on the charge, 15- to 17-year-olds temporarily at the jail,” said Van Otterloo.

Life Skills

Supervisor Jack Guenthner said he favored more funds for Life Skills than its request to $7,500 in the General Fund.

Veterans Affairs

The Veterans Affairs division is seeking a $1,000 increase. Supervisors praised the job done by Gene Shulz. The first round amount was $21,000.

Conservation Board

The Conservation Board’s Akron Rivers’ Bend Recreation Area first year work, estimated at a cost of $33,000, may be assigned to the Local Option Sales Tax fund.

“They (Plymouth County Conservation Board) will get it; it will just come from someplace else (other than the board’s budget,” said Henrich.

County Offices

Recorder Joylnn Goodchild’s budget, as of the first round, was $261,299, up 5.98 percent.

For Treasurer Linda Dobson and the Driver’s License service, $557,435 budget as of the first round, a 3.24 percent increase, or $17,488.

Data Processing and Computer, a 3 percent staff salary increase, $313,727, 12.88 percent increase, $35,796.

Synergy, Jackson Recovery, $7,000, same amount as this year.

The General Fund Ending Balance is expected to be $1,865,921; inmate reimbursed fund, $31,285; General Basic Designated Funds, $158,793; Conservation Land Acquisition Fund, $8,945; General Basic Supplemental Fund, $23,973.

First Round Discussion figures for the Rural Fund Expenses include:

• Three Sheriff’s deputies, $28,476, a 6.49 percent increase, $17,511;

• Waste disposal, $230,000, up 2.22 percent, $5,000;

• Ambulance-EMS, $86,000, 1.18 percent increase, $1,000;

• Zoning, $17,932, 1.63 percent increase, $288;

• Sanitarian, $20,858, same;

• Watershed, $10,000, same and

Plymouth County Drug Court was pegged at $3,000;

•Siouxland Regional Transportation Authority, $32,137, a 2 percent increase.

• The Council on Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence’s amount was $12,500.

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