Supervisors adopt $178.8 budget

The Mohave County supervisors Monday adopted a 2002-2003 budget that is $30 million more than the previous fiscal year and $5 million more than the tentative budget approved July 15.

The $178.8 million budget is larger than the tentative budget for various reasons, "primarily the carryover balances" from 2001-2002, Mohave County Finance Director John Timko said after the supervisors voted 2-1 to adopt the budget.

The new fiscal year started July 1.

District 1 Supervisor Pete Byers and District 2 Supervisor Tom Sockwell voted to approve the budget.

District 3 Supervisor Buster Johnson voted against the budget.

He questioned increased budgets for the library and flood control districts as well as for vehicles.

Johnson said budgets increased from $2.8 million to $3.4 million for the library district and from $3.7 million to $4.5 million for flood control.

Timko said the actual increases are $3.1 million to about $3.5 million for libraries and from $4.2 million to $4.5 million for flood control.

Timko, who became finance director in late January, started the discussion on the budget by acknowledging an employee who has been on medical leave for several months, budget analyst Linda Fosburgh.

He said Fosburgh "did an incredible job to help us put this budget together."

Sockwell said after the meeting that he was pleased with the budget.

"It's a good, balanced budget, and we (have) done it without having to bring in any outside money."

Sockwell was referring to a vote by him and Byers during the past budget year to transfer up to $2.6 million from the building fund to maintain funding for departments paid through the general fund.

The building fund is paid through a quarter-cent sales tax that went into effect Jan.

1, 2000.

The general fund accounts for $51.6 million of the overall budget and is used to pay for county operations except those paid through special district taxes or state and federal funds.

Property and state-shared sales taxes and other sources contribute to the general fund.

In other actions, the supervisors:

o Accepted comments from the Mohave County Public Land Use Committee regarding the proposed management plan for the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument in the Arizona Strip.

o Approved an amendment to a contract with the state Department of Health Services for preparedness and response to bioterrorism.

o Authorized the posting of a 35 mph speed limit on Bank Street from Gordon Drive to Northern Avenue and on Fountain Hills Road from Stockton Hill Road to Sun Mountain Boulevard.

o Accepted a bid of $112,578 from Utility Construction Co.

Inc.

of Gilbert for traffic signals on Northern Avenue and Bank Street.

o OK'd an agreement with the city of Kingman to house inmates at a cost of $6 per day for the current fiscal year.