Commissioners approve $11.3M spending plan

RIDGWAY – County commissioners on Tuesday approved an $11.3 million spending plan that features no new taxes highlighted with a 3-percent wage increase for bargaining and non-bargaining county employees."The 2012 budget was presented to the public at our meeting earlier in the month," said Elk County Commissioner Daniel R. Freeburg. "We went into the public participation and review process, it's been on display online as well as physically in our office, and I don't believe we've had any comments on it.""The 2011 year has continued to be challenging in managing small, local government," the commissioners said Dec. 6 in a prepared statement. "State funds have been cut further, leaving gaps in the financial sectors of local government departments."The state [government] continues to be in arrears with the reimbursement of the district attorney's salary. The county [government] has been diligent in attempting to manage the funds available and continues to try to find cost savings by renegotiation of rates such as heating, phone service and insurance, and working to establish energy-saving measures that we believe will show continued benefits."The total general fund budget will be $11,338,843.70."We appreciate our co-workers, staff, our chief clerk Jean Zore, our elected officials and department heads, we've all done a good job with this," Freeburg said.The meeting was also Beimel's last as county commissioner. He was defeated in November by Republican Janis Kemmer. County officials are being sworn in this morning at 9:30 a.m. at the Elk County Courthouse.