ELLSWORTH - The Finance and Personnel Committee of the Pierce County Board of Supervisors spent the late afternoon Wednesday chopping away at an $400,000 deficit in the proposed 2017 budget.
Going through several line-items, the committee reversed themselves on several personnel decisions made through this year, particularly with jail nurse and jail janitorial staff for example. The new jail isn't expected to be open until the late fall of 2017. The deficit was also closed by revising sales tax receipts from initial conservative estimates and the hope that mental health referrals will not exceed $200,000, although past outlays show referral costs soaring to over $800,000 in recent budget years, with costs covered by reserve funds.
These cuts brought the levy down to from an initial $18 million to just over $17,500,000, slightly larger than last year's budget levy. The budget has to go for approval by the full board in November.
For more on the budget and other county board news, read next week's print edition Prescott Journal, on newsstands in town next Wednesday.