This year’s budget included high dollar projects such as the completion of the $3.6 million county Courthouse Plaza Renovations project and security enhancements, such as updated security cameras and the opening of security checkpoints at the county Courthouse and Safety Building.
In addition, county elected officials and department heads in many cases reduced spending for next year based on commissioners’ request to carefully watch spending and identify cuts because of financial uncertainty caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Evans said.
Projects included in the 2021 budget include a new county fuel island facility to replace the aging fueling systems at the county engineer’s department and maintenance of the historic courthouse.
Sales tax revenues this year were up by more than 10 percent over last year, despite concern about the impact of COVID-19. People were spending extra unemployment benefits and sales of RVs in the county were brisk, Evans said.
The receipt by the county and other local governments of CARES Act money due to COVID-19 also was a plus financially, he said. That money was used by the county for $3.4 million in wages and benefits; nearly $1 million for grants to small businesses and nonprofits; and another $55,000 for building cleaning, personal protective equipment and touchless fixtures.
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