Chelan County Commissioners Approve $59.6 Million Budget For 2024
Chelan County has a new budget in place for 2024 after county commissioners passed a $56.9 million spending plan Monday.
The budget comes with a shortfall of $2.6 million, but there's confidence the differences will be made up by extra money coming in.
Commissioner Kevin Overbay says they're hiring for seven new county positions in the budget.
“We were able to give the sheriff three more deputies to assist the sheriff’s department,” said Overbay. “We also authorized one criminal deputy prosecutor for the prosecuting attorney’s office and a financial service manager in the auditor’s office, which we have not had that position filled in about five or six years.”
The county will also hire an additional public records officer and a new appraiser for the assessor's office as part of the new budget.
Commissioners were able to fulfill almost half the requests of 15 new employees from the various county departments.
The $2.6 million deficit is down from $4.78 million in the preliminary budget from Nov. 1. It’s also less than the $3.7 million deficit the county started with this year.
According to Overbay, spending for this year is about $800,000 under projections while revenues have increased by roughly $11 million over what was expected.
About $7 million in the overage is from extra PILT (Payments in Lieu of Taxes) payments the county received this year related to COVID payments from the federal government - the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
Commissioners expect to start the year with between $18.5 million and $21.5 million in reserve, which is up from roughly $13.3 million to start 2023.
There’s still a possibility of up to $3 million in end of the year expenditures.
Overbay says the cost of running the county keeps climbing.
"We see an increase in wages and costs, just like everybody else, the cost for counties go up to do our business," Overbay said.
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Gallery Credit: Rik Mikals