The Delaware County commissioners learned on Monday, Nov. 27 the county’s budget carryover fund account is over a quarter of a million dollars less than last year. 

Bill Turner addressed his concerns with the commissioners during the meeting.

Turner broke down the current budget, which ends June 30, 2018. The current carryover amount is $163,742.53, he said.

The commissioners wanted a half-million dollar carryover account.

“We don’t want the carryover to get any lower that it is,” Turner said.

“If we have no carry over, we have no cushion to fall back on,” said Doug Smith, county commissioner chairman.

Turner and Smith said the loss of the vehicle tax has hurt all the rural counties. That tax made up the miscellaneous revenue account.

Seventy-five percent of the county’s budget goes to salaries and benefits.

 “That’s normal,” Turner said.

Smith said some of the future expenses include $30,000 for roof work.

All three commissioners agreed that budget cuts are on the horizon.

“A hiring freeze is a legal question that is being researched,” Smith said.

In other county financial problems, the commissioners approved creating a revenue account for the sheriff’s office for fees collected from county fire departments that use dispatch services provided by the sheriff’s office.

Sheriff Harlan Moore said the average monthly salary for a dispatcher is around $1,800.

“Our turnover is horrible,” Moore said. “We need to stop the bleeding.”

Eleven rural fire departments and Emergency Management Service agencies utilize the Delaware County Sheriff’s office to dispatch calls, he said.

The fee will be $400 a month or $4,800 yearly and the new account will be activated Jan. 1, 2018.

The commissioners also approved a resolution transferring assets from Rural Water, Gas and Solid Waste District. No. 9 to the Grove Municipal Services Authority.

“This is good for everyone,” said Tommy Dyer, attorney for the authority.

Dyer said rates will go down.

Water District No. 9 is located in the Patricia Island area, he said.

In financial business, the commissioners approved to accept the highest bid on a John Deere Backhoe Loader and a John Dresser Front End Loader and to transfer $1,000 from the county capital outlay account to its charity account for the purpose of paying for the digging of indigent graves.

“The Medical Examiner’s office was going to start charging us $50 a day,” said Barbara Barnes, County Clerk.

The commissioners approved:

• Forward to the District Attorney’s office, foreclosure document – Spinnaker Point Estates Homeowners Association vs. Robert Ryan Rex.

• Receive and file Eastern Oklahoma District Library budget for 2018.

• Approval to accept a $40,000 FEMA Hazard Mitigation grant to purchase two warning sirens for the Tia Juana Volunteer Fire Department.