LIMA — When the Allen County commissioners presented elected officials and department heads their operating budgets for 2015, many were content.
The preliminary budget shows each department’s appropriated money to run its day-to-day operations, commissioner Cory Noonan said, including salaries and office needs. However, no raises have been given to county officials since 2008.
“This shapes what we do and what we’re capable of doing,” Noonan said.
Negotiations between the departments and the county have been ongoing since the fall, Noonan said. The new budgets for the departments will be effective Jan. 1.
While many officials remained silent regarding their appropriated amount, Judge Jeffrey Reed expressed his concern regarding jury fees for 2015. Four murder cases are to be heard in 2015, and jurors are required to be paid for their time spent in the jury box. “I’m going to run out of money real quick,” he said.
Noonan said money can be appropriated for the jurors when the time comes, adding that it’s a common practice to appropriate money for various departments throughout the year.
Allen County Treasurer Rachel Gilroy said that many changes to county accounts had a “severe” drop in interest over the years. Gilroy said her department has been able to “move some of those accounts around” and will eventually generate $100,000 for the county’s general fund next year.
Commissioner Greg Sneary said often times the general fund can be seen as “the commissioner’s money,” which he said isn’t the case. “All of us work hard to make sure the money is going to where it needs to be” to ensure each department is able to function, but to “squeeze that dollar as much as you can to have the biggest bang for the buck,” he said.
There is $25,156,960 appropriated for 2015 for the general fund. The general fund is then divided among the various county departments. Noonan said sales tax from the area makes up 60 percent of the budget.