During the Carbon County Commission meeting that was hosted on Dec. 6, a portion of the evening was utilized to focus on all things budget related. First, a public hearing was hosted to open and adjust the 2023 Carbon County budget.
Carbon County Clerk/Auditor Seth Marsing led the breakdown of the adjustment, stating that they added to the general fund due to the necessity of hiring the gentleman that is working for the assessor’s office. Additional public defenders were also hired, which required a decent amount more than what was initially budgeted.
There is also additional funding added for the Children’s Justice Center, though Marsing stressed that the additional funding for that department and the public defender’s office will be covered through grants.
At the beginning of the year, the county had budgeted for $1.8 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to be spent on projects such as the sewer line through Ridge Road for future development. Marsing stated they were able to finish more than was anticipated, therefore there were additional expenses, though ARPA funds will cover what is budgeted. An additional $950,000 was proposed.
Following this, Marsing explained that through the course of preparation, it is required by Utah State Code to have a tentative budget for the upcoming year and to have it available in the clerk/auditor’s office for 10 days prior to the hearing.
Marsing also highlighted the fact that the budget presented during the meeting was only tentative and that part of the public hearing process is for adjustments to be made before the final budget is approved by the commissioners at a later meeting. The budget, as stands, is available for perusal on the county’s website.
Marsing went over high level comparisons, beginning with the final budget amount. In 2023, it was over $21 million, while the proposed amount for 2024 is $17,110,360. The significant decrease mainly has to do with the county not having budgeted the need to spend any ARPA funds in 2024.
In 2023, fund 20 was over $9 million and the tentative budget for the new year is $8,991,090. There, the reduced amount came with a plan to spend much less in equipment for the road shop. The capital projects have a budget of $15,000, which is significantly lower than 2023 as well.
The biggest difference there was finishing the Emergency Watershed Project (EWP) in 2023, meaning that there is no need to budget for that in 2024. The airport budget in 2023 was $524,500 and in 2024 it is proposed as $151,500. The main difference in the decrease was that there was a project there that involved improving the building and making it more compatible for the USU programs there.
For the first public hearing regarding the adjustment of the 2023 budget, there was no one that wished to speak. During the public hearing regarding the 2024 tentative budget, one citizen spoke with the commissioners briefly for amount clarifications, as well as departments and funding.
The commissioners approved both the adjustments to the 2023 budget and the tentative budget for 2024.