Medina County commissioners approved the 2016 budget Tuesday — the first time the county’s annual budget has been approved before the start of a new year in more than 30 years.
County Finance Director Beverly Valentine said commissioners usually have to come up with a temporary budget for January before approving a final budget for the year.
“This is the first time, since I’ve been here, that they’ve ever approved it in December, and I’ve been here more than 30 years,” she said.
The county’s 2016 expenses are budgeted at $38.7 million, but county officials expect to spend only about $36.6 million. The estimated expenses for 2015 are $37.2 million.
Some increases for 2016 include a 2 percent salary increase for county employees, up from last year’s 1.5 percent increase.
Valentine said the 2 percent is an increase of “current year salary appropriations” that will go to the county’s individual departments, which will distribute the increases as needed.
“In other words, not all employees may get a 2 percent increase,” Valentine said. “It could be that one employee gets a 1.5 percent and another gets a 2.5 percent increase.”
The county also will see a $513,000 increase in health care, retirement, Medicare and workers compensation in 2016.
The county sheriff’s office also will see a $170,000 increase for county jail operations, and will receive about $53,000 to pay for a deputy to work on the county’s drug task force.
Valentine said the county also is anticipating a $1 million increase in revenues for 2016 — $37.3 million, up from last year’s $36.2 million. She said the increase is due to “expected increases in sales tax revenues — about $644,000 — and an increase in the excess amount transferred by the Clerk of Courts Auto Title Fund to the county’s general fund.”