Last Thursday night, the DeWitt County Board put on file its Fiscal Year 2021 budget.
Friday on the WHOW Morning Show, DeWitt County Board Chair David Newberg and DeWitt County Administrator DeeDee Rentmeister discussed the budget and the many challenges. Rentmeister says the big win though is the fact the budget is balanced.
Rentmeister credits the County department-leads for their diligence in operating on razor-thin margins while Newberg says the previous year's budget was put together with a very conservative estimate of revenues, which put them in a good position coming into this year.
The minimum wage mandate to $15 an hour by 2025 has been something officials working on the budget have been committed to getting ahead on. According to Rentmeister, they considered putting off those plans due to the impacts of COVID on the budget to the point she had two budgets ready for the Board.
Another challenged face by budget officers was the changes in the court system fines and fees. Rentmeister points out while they anticipated a loss of revenue from those sources, they found other revenues to be up, specifically the landfill third-quarter payment from their host agreement.
Rentmeister credits the Sheriff's office for their very conservative budgeting, leaving two positions vacant as the County faces uncertain times but she also credits the other elected officials for understanding the situation facing the County during this time and for adjusting their requests for funding accordingly.
This year's budget is roughly $24.7-million.
Newberg says some of the highlights of the budget include a two-year agreement with all the unions and an eight-year agreement with the ambulance service.