A Baldwin County 2013 fiscal year general fund budget of nearly $18.5 million is expected to be adopted in tonight's county commissioner's meeting. The total decreased $87,350 from the current year's budget.
The millage rate remains unchanged for operations despite a $360,000 property tax fund decline. Public Works took the brunt of budget decreases at nearly $95,000.
Cuts will come from eliminating temporary salaries, freezing vacant positions, increasing employee contributions for health insurance, reducing travel and training except where mandated, reducing operating supplies, reduction of payments to other agencies and forgoing much needed maintenance of county facilities and infrastructure.
The general fund public safety budget falls half a million dollars short of the estimated property tax digest.
County Manager Ralph McMullen said all major paving projects, new vehicles and equipment or major building repairs will be covered by Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax funds as they become available.
He expects a new vehicle maintenance program using local shops for oil changes and repairs to curb some expenses. McMullen said the county is doing its best to keep current employees out of minimum wage.
From the 2009 budget, general fund revenue decreases total $3.9 million.
Recent legislation did away with the ad valorem tax on vehicles replacing it with a one-time fee. That, coupled with no tax on energy consumption for manufacturers, will affect the county, according to finance assistant Dawn Hudson.
In the final public budget hearing, Zarkowsky said a possible tax increase could be necessary to back up the 2013 revenue estimates.
Tonight's Baldwin County Commissioners' meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. in courthouse Suite 319.