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County begins 2011 budget process

Staff Report

WALSENBURG— The Board of Huerfano County Commissioners heard from seven department heads on proposed budgets for 2011 on Wednesday, Oct. 27, when they delivered their proposals. 

    County Commissioners Art Bobian and Roger Cain expressed their gratitude for the departments holding down expenditures over the past two years and indicated that a raise was in store for county employees for 2011. 

    “We are thankful for the efforts of the county department heads in holding down their expenditures in the past,”  County Commission Chair Art Bobian said.  “Raises will be given out for 2011 since, over the past two years no raises have been given.  They will be $535 plus two percent of the base wage for all employees.”

    The county is also seeing an eight percent increase in insurance premiums for the county which will be paid for by the county.  “This will help our employees to keep their families covered as well,” Mr. Bobian said.

    “Four percent of the increase is coming from the increase we will see from Obamacare,”   Commissioner Roger Cain said.

    Corrections Corporation of America is protesting the tax assessment on their property in Huerfano County.  County assessors say that CCA’s tax bill should be around $288,000.   CCA says it doesn’t want to pay any more then $17,000 on the empty prison.  The appeal will work its way into court eventually.  The county is drafting a letter to an attorney asking George Rosenburg to take the case.

    County Attorney Garrett Sheldon will be working up the bid for the county’s purchase of a two acre site to house the county’s ambulance in the Northland.  

    Commissioner Scott King was absent from the meeting due to a personal injury he suffered when he stumbled and fell on some steps in the courthouse.  The injuries appeared to be minor with Mr. King taking stitches to his forehead.