WORKING TOGETHER appears the theme prevailing amongst Belmont County departments.
At Wednesday's commissioners' meeting, the 2013 county budget was at the forefront. It was no gloom and doom discussion, due in part to the cooperation and teamwork being exhibited by officials and employees alike.
The various departments have submitted their monetary requests for the coming fiscal year. We commend the wish lists as the majority were looking to maintain current spending levels or in some instances reduce them. In these economic times, such a financial statement speaks volumes of the caliber of individuals involved.
Fourteen county departments sought budget increases, while 17 asked for less than a year ago. Six sought no change from its current allotment.
It all adds up to a total request of $20,047,064.90. It marked an increase of $281,819.28 from last year.
Commissioners say that county has $17,400,000 in its coffers to allocate. Thus, some give-and-take as well as some sacrifices must take place. But county officials have been down this road before.
Commissioners, as has been past practice, will work with each office to get the budget in line. Commissioners did commend the departments on their performance in keeping within their means.
While nearly $3 million must be trimmed from the requests, we expect the spirit of cooperation will pervade in making it a friction-free process.
With the oil and gas business making its presence felt more and more every day in Belmont County, we see a brightening budget picture.
While all county departments may not get all they request this coming year; we hope, with continued economic improvement, all wishes will be granted in the future.