The Oneida county board has begun what could be some tough budget meetings.
Administration committee chair David Hintz says the county is looking at a $1.1 million deficit out of a $50 million routine budget.
Some department heads were called in to talk about capital projects including more road building, fixing problems in county buildings and aging equipment that needs updating among others. Buildings and Grounds Director LuAnn Brunette said the projects for that department could be in the neighborhood of $500,000 alone if the board went ahead with them.
The roof at the law enforcement center can be patched, for now, but is beginning to fail and will need a costly re-do.
Finance Director Margie Sorenson says sales taxes are meeting projections, but other areas are not...
"...county sales tax will meet budget projections. Interest earnings will fall short $150,000 to $175,000. Stumpage sales will fall short $250,000 to $300,000....
Health insurance costs continue to be a major factor in the budget and ways to reduce the costs are being explored.
Supervisor Jerry Shidell said he wanted to start the process by asking for a wage freeze and more contributions from employees..
"...I don't think we should give any dollar increase to any employee at this stage of the game. Private enterprise has been without(increases) for several years and we've managed to give our county employees increases all the time. I think they should increase, too, their contributions to their retirement and health packages..."
That motion was referred to committee and will return to the board floor in October at the latest.