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            The Board of County Commissioners met in special session at 9:00 a.m. with all members and the County Clerk present. The meeting was called to review all budgets requests submitted for 2004. Steve Rice, Hay, Rice and Associates, attended the meeting.


            Mr. Rice, Auditor, explained that the county’s lost revenue from the State for the year 2003 and 2004 equals about $1,000,000 for both years. He does not foresee the State giving this revenue back to the counties in the future.


            All 2004 budget requests were reviewed.


The decision was made to consolidate the following appropriation funds into the county general fund for 2004: Fair Maintenance; Home for Aged; Extension Council; Board on Aging; Mental Health; Hospital; Library; and Library Employee Benefits. The consolidation is in line with the state and better accounting practices. This will save time and money on the bookkeeping.


            The decision was made to incorporate the 4-H Building Fund in the Park/Building Maintenance Fund for 2004.


            The county clerk submitted two budget amounts; one staffing her office at the current level and one cutting a full time position. The decision was made to cut one full time position from that budget for 2004. The clerk affirmed that she believes her office can continue providing quality service with the elimination of one full time position as long as part time help can be used when necessary. The commissioners agreed with this.


            Discussion was held on the possibility of sharing help between departments. The county clerk said she talked to the treasurer about this and she is willing to consider the idea. The clerk has not talked to the appraiser or register of deeds regarding this.


            Mr. Rice noted that with the decrease of $487,000 from Road & Bridge, the $270,000 reduction in the hospital’s levy, and the combined cuts in several smaller budgets, the increase in the mill levy is small, .30 of a mill. He said the county would not need to publish the resolution for increasing the taxes levied because the county has decreased the levied taxes by $755,000. Mr. Rice commended the commissioners for their efforts to keep taxes down.


            A copy of the approved budget amount is attached as a part of this record.


            The commissioners adjourned to meet again in regular session on August 5, 2003.


Linda McHenry, County Clerk                                      Carl Higgs, Chairman