SWEETWATER COUNTY – The Sweetwater County Commission voted 4-0 Thursday night to adopt the county budget for Fiscal Year 2022.
The adopted budget has a total general fund expenditure amount of $41.1 million. This includes county departments, grant expenditures, and outside agencies. The total appropriations for the FY22 budget is $181,179,456. That includes all of the expenditures, not just funding allocated by the county.
Core county appropriations totaled $30.9 million, grant projects totaled $2.4 million, and capital appropriations totaled $2.1 million. Outside agencies along with the Sweetwater County Board of Health totaled $5.5 million. All of that together creates the general fund expenditure total of $41.1 million.
The following graphic shows the total amounts of funding each outside agency will be receiving from the county:
The following graphic shows the total expenditure budgets of the general county and component units for FY22 (not the appropriated amounts from the county):
The Commissioners decided earlier this year that they wanted to keep reserves at $25 million at a minimum. The approved general reserve account is set at $27,770,427. There is also an American Rescue Plan reserve account with $8.2 million. The county has received half of that money already and will receive the second in 2022. This makes a total of $35.9 million in county reserves.
Commissioners Roy Lloyd, Jeff Smith, Mary Thoman, and Chairman Randy “Doc” Wendling all voted in favor of adopting the budget. Commissioner Lauren Schoenfeld was absent from the meeting.
Commissioner Lloyd said even though he was voting to adopt the budget, he did have a few concerns, such as cutting organizations that had extra cash on hand.
“I think it’s essential that we do what we said we were going to do and in July start really pounding the budget for next year and looking at long-term solutions,” Lloyd said. “I do fear some of our cutting of just organizations that had excessive cash on hand is a short-term solution.”
To balance this year’s budget, the county had to make cuts and use cash carryover, as there was a $13.5 million deficit as of May 2021. County Treasurer Robb Slaughter said in May that to maintain $25 million in the reserves, and to balance the $13.5 million deficit, the county needed to look at a 15 percent decrease in funding from FY21, which equates about $8.2 million in cuts from last year’s budget.