Revenue offsets increases; fourth quarter might not go as well, Jefferson commissioners say

PORT TOWNSEND — Jefferson County commissioners have approved $249,275 in budget appropriations and extensions for a number of county departments after a public hearing.

These budget extensions will not impact the county’s bottom line this quarter, thanks to $224,875 of combined unencumbered funds from the county’s general fund and special revenue, capital, enterprise and internal service funds, commissioners were told Monday.

A $24,400 increase in tax revenue and grant money for the third quarter offset the rest of the expenses requested.

“We’re fortunate we have the money to cover this quarter,” said Commissioner Kathleen Kler.

Kler and Commissioner David Sullivan said that while this quarter’s requested budget extensions were covered by revenue increases, that might not be the case for the fourth quarter.

“A budget is a plan, and we can’t account for everything,” Sullivan said, “even the good things like an increase in sales tax and a grant coming in.”

The newly appropriated funds will cover a variety of expenses for a number of county departments.

Jefferson County elections will use the allotted $3,612 from the general fund and was given an extension of $4,150 from this quarter’s revenue increase to pay for three new ballot boxes to comply with state law. Nordland, Brinnon and Quilcene will be the recipients of one ballot box each.

Commissioners will use $35,000 allotted in the general fund to pay for cameras to be installed in commissioners’ chambers to create a livestream and video recording of each meeting.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office was given a budget extension of $112,210, adding money from a federal Stonegarden grant that was not included in the original 2017 budget.

The Jefferson District court, treasurer, and parks and recreation departments all saw budget increases funded through tax and grant revenue.

Other departments, such as the Affordable Housing Fund, Parks Improvement Fund and Jefferson County Drug Fund, had some of their budgeted funds appropriated to approved projects including a new mower for parks improvement and cameras for the Port Townsend Police Department through an interdepartmental agreement.

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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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