PARKERSBURG - Wood County Clerk Jamie Six told county commissioners a safe estimate for the county's ending year balance would be around $950,000, but more definitive numbers would be available in mid-July.
The county's fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30.
County officials said the ending balance could end up over $1 million.
Wood County Clerk Jamie Six, left, discusses the county’s ending balance with commission President Wayne Dunn. (Photo by Pamela Brust)
"The ending balance changes quickly, it is volatile. In 2012, you projected, for the budget, the ending balance at $950,000 and I'm recommending you use that number if you intend to proceed with funding requests, to be safe. You've always exceeded the projected amount, but that should be a safe number," Six said. "We will have a truer number in July."
Six noted any invoices due and payable as of June 30 must be paid out of that budget. "We can't hold a bill," he said.
The clerk noted the amount of revenue collected from fees charged for documents like marriage licenses, copies of deeds, and other records had increased, partially due to the increased documentation required by the West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles for license renewals and partly due to the increase in oil and gas business in the area.
"There is enough funding in increased revenue generated through the fees to give a $1,000 annual pay raise to county employees without using any funds from the ending balance," Six told the commissioners.
The commissioners have, in the last few years, given one-time pay raises, and gave the employees a one-time bonus from health insurance savings, and a there was a longevity pay back in 2011.
"We found enough money to change the base pay for the 165 county employees not covered under any other provisions, by raising their salaries $1,000 a year. The cost would be $165,000 plus benefits, bringing the totals in under $200,000, and none of the funds would come from the ending balance," Six said. There are a total of 200 county employees, but some work for other entities, like 911 that have the ability to get pay raises through other funding resources, the clerk noted.
Six said he would have more specific numbers in July, and he recommended the commissioners wait to see those numbers.
County officials said there are about 16 pending funding requests from outside agencies for more than $100,000.
"We can have a more definitive revenue stream number for you at your next meeting and an ending balance figure by July 15, within $50,000," the clerk said.
"I'm comfortable with deciding on the funding requests now," commission President Wayne Dunn said Monday.
"I think we're all receptive to the pay raises. We want to make sure we have a reasonable carryover. But if we can give pay raises, we want to do that I think," Dunn said.
"I still have questions for the elected officials, how they spend their budgets and how they fund the salaries. We need ample time to have that discussion, and I think it's a good discussion to have," Commissioner Blair Couch said.
The commissioners delayed a decision on the funding requests.