Jefferson County commissioners OK 2017 budget

PORT TOWNSEND — The Jefferson County commissioners unanimously approved the county’s 2017 budget with only a few technical corrections to the final draft.

The now more than $55 million budget was approved by a vote during the commissioners’ weekly meeting Monday.

According to County Administrator Philip Morley, only a few technical adjustments were made to the budget between Monday’s vote and the public hearing held last week.

“This is a huge collaborative effort,” Commissioner Kathleen Kler said.

“That’s not done in every county and it takes a lot of work. But it makes it much clearer for the public, as clear as a budget can be anyway.”

The budget was approved with no public comment.

Commissioners also adopted a salary schedule for non-union professional county employees. Those employees will see a 1.5 percent wage adjustment.

“It’s really been a team effort. It’s anti-climactic here at the end with no argument,” Commissioner David Sullivan said.

According to Morley, the county was able to come to an agreement with the Fraternal Order of Police regarding the salary for new corrections officers. That added $12,909 to the $65,000 already slated for that position for 2017.

That is a one-time budget increase for the Sheriff’s Department. The department will be getting another one-time increase of $45,000 for jail medical services in 2017.

Agreements made between the county and the union representing employees from the county clerk, prosecutor, district court and juvenile services offices also increased those budgets by a total of $40,390.

This upped the recommended amount for the county’s general fund from $18,578,538 to $18,631,837.

The total budget is divided among 51 different funds, now 52 due to the last-minute addition of a County Fair Fund — totally $250,000 for 2017.

Those changes took the total budget from a little less than $55 million to $55,238,123 for expenditures in 2017.

To keep a more balanced budget, county officials pulled from a nearly $300,000 fund for updating courthouse security. That fund now sits at $220,000.

Total revenue for the county in 2017 is estimated at $49,434,102 — which is expected to leave the county with an extra $5 million at the end of 2017.

A full budget and budget narrative put together by county staff, can be found at www.co.jefferson.wa.us.

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Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Cydney McFarland can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 55052, or at cmcfarland@peninsuladailynews.com.

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