In a special meeting Tuesday morning, the Cascade County Commission voted to adopt the proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year which includes $66 million dollars in expenditures, a 3.1% increase from 2020.
Many of the increases are related to the COVID-19 pandemic, as the cost of goods and services have increased.
The budget also includes a small tax increase from the current budget. Homeowners would see their taxes increase by about $1 per month, or around $12 per year depending on where they are located and property value of their home.
Some of the highlights of the budget include:
- $1 million toward upgrades at the Expo Park and fairgrounds.
- $23,152 for grandstand completion
- $492,792 for water main replacement
- $180,000 rodeo barn restoration
- Miscellaneous landscape and infrastructure improvement
- $69,743 for classroom additions and roof replacement at the Juvenile Detention Center.
- $558,880 in heavy equipment purchases and $616,000 in fleet purchases (including six new CCSO cruisers)
- $160,000 for a body scanner at the Adult Detention Center
- $150,000 for a Chiller replacement at the Adult Detention Center
- $47,281 for Side Scan Sonar and $18,383 for a morgue for the CCSO
- $1 million dollars in capital outlay for various projects across multiple departments
Departments were instructed to hold all other budget items level for fiscal year 2020/21 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The largest expense is Public Safety with just over $17 million or 25.8% of the proposed budget. General Government is next at $16.9 million or 25.3% of all County expenditures, Public Works is third with $9.9 million and the Expo Park contains $4.77 million.
The county also projects $66 million in revenues with $28 million (42.5 %) coming from property taxes.
The biggest unknown for the county is the revenue provided by COVID-19 relief. The Health Department will receive $250,000 in relief funds, with $202,550 for Aging Services and $42,000 allotted for public safety. The rest remains unknown and is not currently budgeted.
"We're all in unfamiliar territory with the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Cascade County budget officer Mary Embleton. “We will do the best we can, with what we have. Finding efficiencies and ways to serve the public in a better way.”