Latah County approves $18.5M budget

The Latah County Commissioners approved an $18.5 million budget Wednesday for the upcoming fiscal year that includes a 4 percent salary or hourly pay increase for all county employees and elected officials.

The budgeted amount is an increase of nearly $1.4 million over the current 2016 fiscal year budget.

“I hope through the whole budget process we listened to everybody and we do the absolute best we can for our employees,” Commissioner Dave McGraw said. “Sixty-some-odd percent of our total expenses are our employees. They are the biggest, most important thing we have in this building.”

The justice fund, at $7.4 million, accounts for 40 percent of the budget, said Henrianne Westberg, county clerk, auditor and recorder. Westberg said it is the largest fund in the upcoming budget.

Westberg said some of the capital projects budgeted for in the upcoming fiscal year include an ADA ramp to the basement at the courthouse and repairs to the stucco on the courthouse’s exterior. The budget also includes money for a salary survey that will examine how Latah County employees’ pay compares to other similar entities.

After the commissioners discussed the upcoming budget with department heads and elected officials, Westberg said the commissioners set goals, which included increasing pay for employees and minimizing property tax impact on county residents while maintaining the available forgone tax revenue of $263,803 that has accumulated during the past two years.

Via the Moscow-Pullman Daily News