SWEETWATER COUNTY – For many months residents have heard about budget constraints and the rocky economic future for counties in Wyoming. The Sweetwater County Commissioners are rolling up their sleeves and going to work.
By state statute, budget requests from entities must be presented by May 15 each year. At the Tuesday Sweetwater County Commission meeting, Accounting Manager Bonnie Berry presented the early requests to the commission.
The county has been anticipating a 19 percent reduction in revenue and asked entities to cut budgets by 20 percent. Preliminary numbers presented to the commission show an increase of almost $1 million in outside entity requests over what was given to entities through the budget process last year. However, there are several requests from entities which were not included in last year’s budget.
There was a short discussion about the May 15 deadline and if any entities have not submitted a request. Berry said only Family Planning had not submitted an application. Family Planning has submitted a request for many years with it being $20,000 the past couple of years.
It was noted they recently had a change in leadership and the commission asked Berry to reach out to them.
Berry asked the commission what they would like to do with late requests moving forward. In a case like Family Planning, Commission Chairman Wally Johnson said flexibility needs to be used. Overall, Commission John Kolb said it is a statute and it should be followed. He said he would not look at any request that came in past the deadline.
The commission is expected to start budget workshops on May 17 and May 18. There was some debate earlier in the meeting after Chairman Johnson noted he has a prior commitment on one of the days.