County adjusts 2009 budget
Almost every year, the Carbon County Commission needs to open the county operating budgets at the end of the year to make some adjustments. Last Tuesday, during the final commission meeting for 2009, they did the same thing.
As with most places in the country, the economic downturn has not been favorable to Carbon County's revenue stream this year, although there are many localities where it has been much worse. However, the county has a healthy surplus fund from which to draw. This fund has accumulated through the efforts of the commissioners and other officials over the years. This surplus has proven to be a life saver when times are lean or emergencies come up. This past year, the surplus was relied on to cover some unpredictable budget expenditures. Altogether, the county had to generate about $312,000 to cover expenses that were not predicted in the original budgets for the year.
Some of the increases went to such budgets as the municipal building fund (fund 56), the 911 budget, Carbon County Future budget (fund 28), the municipal service fund (fund 20) and the general operations fund (fund 10).
The reasons for the increases vary, but according to Bob Pero, county clerk, some fund expenses are hard to predict. He told the commission that items such as the public defender's budget and the 911 emergency system vary. It's hard to predict the entire year's budget when budgets are done at the beginning of a year.
"Just look at the 911 budget," he said. "We are already over?and I haven't even got the billing for the system from the last couple of months of the year yet."
Pero asked the commission to approve funds from surplus for budgets based on their current deficits as well as the amount that may need to be paid in the next month or two from the 2009 budget year. Commissioners agreed to the changes.
The commission also approved a cooperative agreement with the Utah Department of Transportation concerning a traffic study that the state agency wants to undertake on State Road 10 from Stake Farm Road to the Highway 6 interchange. While projects have been completed farther south on SR 10, the difficult problem remains of dealing with a confined space in which to improve the current highway as it passes out of the Price area to just before the Four Mile Hill area. The existing road passes through an industrial and residential area that is fairly confined in space, with some areas of the highway being in close proximity to homes and businesses in the area.?
According to the agreement, the two agencies will work on a plan for the future of the road between those two points on the highway. The county will select a qualified traffic engineering consulting firm from a qualified UDOT pool of firms to conduct the study, which will include analyzing the current conditions, projecting future conditions and suggesting design recommendations for the road that will address a 30-year plan for the future. The county will involve UDOT in drafting the plan. There will be a technical advisory committee established to review the plan and to develop a scope of work. The plan will identify and recommend highway widths, street spacing, access spacing, signal spacing, and?local access location's accesses. During the plan's development, at least two public hearings will be held concerning the direction that the plan is taking.
While the county will be the entity contracting to conduct the study, UDOT will reimburse the county for 50 percent of study costs (up to $20,000) when the study is completed.
The commission also set their regular meeting schedule for 2010. In most instances, meetings will take place on the first and third Wednesday of each month. The exception will be the final meeting of the year which will take place on Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2010. No federal or state holidays affect the meeting schedule this year.