Commissioners Hear Preliminary Budget Requests

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SWEETWATER COUNTY– The Sweetwater County Commissioners hosted a FY 2020 budget workshop Tuesday, in which they heard over 23 preliminary budget requests from Sweetwater County entities and departments.

The projected budget for Sweetwater County comes out to a total shortfall of $5,492,502. The projected break down is as follows:

  • Revenues (excluding grant revenue): $46,897,706
  • Expenditures: $52,041,801
  • Grant revenues: $3,211,769
  • Grant expenditures: $3,560,173

The total shortfall for FY 2019 was $2,274,541, compared to the projected shortfall of nearly $5.5 million for FY 2020.

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County entities presented their preliminary budget requests, in which the commissioners decided which entities and departments needed to adjust their requests.

Sweetwater Events Complex

The Sweetwater Events Complex requested the most funds, asking for $4,853,574. The Events Complex is asking for $2 million more than last year, which is a 70 percent increase from their FY 2019 budget.

The Events Complex has $2.6 million in capital projects, and the county funded $827,000 in capital projects last year. The Events Complex gave the commissioners a list of projects last year, however, Commissioner Randy Wendling pointed out that many of the same projects are on the list for FY 2020.

“We gave you money to do these, why are they showing up again?” Wendling asked.

Kandi Pendelton, Events Complex Marketing and Events Manager, said the projects are being phased out over three years, and they have had to examine the projects and choose priority.

Currently, the Events Complex is renovating the exhibit hall and looking towards expansion.

The commissioners asked the Events Complex to work on lowering their request by $1 million.

Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County

MHSC requested $2,413,004 for their maintenance budget. They currently have $4.8 million set aside, but $3.2 of that will be spent in FY 2020.

Chairman Wally Johnson assured the hospital that they are the commissioners’ “number one priority.”

“The people of the county know how important you are,” Johnson said.

The commissioners asked the hospital to decrease their request by $500,000.

Castle Rock Hospital District

CRHD requested $301,000 from the county. Commissioner Wendling acknowledged that CRHD is building a new facility, and that it now seems because of that, the hospital district are asking that the county help cover funds for ambulance service.

Last year, CRHD requested $177,000, making this year’s request $124,000 more. Johnson suggested they cut their budget request by 50 percent and see how that goes for six months. He added that CRHD needs to make something happen with county-wide ambulance services.

Other Requests

The Sweetwater County Fire Marshall requested $956,672, a 40 percent increase from last year, which was not adjusted at this time.

The Sweetwater County Communications Center requested $993,354, a 40 percent increase from last year, in which about $206,000 will be used to complete their move to the Justice Center.

The detention center requested about $5.58 million, which is a nine percent increase from last year. The request covers payroll, operating, and capital costs. The commissioners made no adjustments at this time.