Monroe County Commissioners unanimously approved on Tuesday, Dec. 3 a 2020 budget of just over $37.7 million.

Monroe County finance officer Lorri Robinson said on Tuesday, Nov. 26 that of the $37.7 million total, just over $31.1 million is in the county’s general fund. And of the $31.1 million in the general fund, just over $26.9 million is in operations while the other $4.2 million includes transfers to E-911 and landfill. Of the $26.9 million in the general fund, $9.9 million is for general government, $1.7 million is for judicial/courts, $9.4 million is for public safety/jail, $3.1 million is for public works, $1.1 million is for health/welfare, $715,000 is for recreation, $645,000 is for housing/development and $163,000 is for debt service. Included in those figures are a $900,000 contribution to the Hospital Authority of Monroe County and a $200,000 contribution to the Development Authority of Monroe County.

Robinson said projected 2020 revenues are up about 3.8 percent from 2019 while projected 2020 expenses are down about 3.7 percent (about $1.1 million), leaving an anticipated total of just under $1.6 million in contingency. Robinson added that proposed capital expenses are down about $800,000 in 2020 to a total of $525,000. The most costly capital expense is in information technology, where the county plans to spend $177,000 to update computers, servers, etc. The county has also budgeted funds to hire 10 new employees in 2019, including six in fire/EMS, one each in housekeeping, information technology and public works and two-part-time in recreation.

The county held a public hearing for county manager Jim Hedges to present the budget on Tuesday, Nov. 26, but no citizens attended.

District 3 commissioner John Ambrose lauded on Nov. 14 the efforts of Robinson and Hedges in producing the 2020 budget. Meanwhile, District 4 commissioner George Emami added, “Contrary to what you might read about in the newspaper, we like to see a pretty tight budget up here. And we’re glad to know we’re going in the right direction in a lot of our departments.”