In Feb. 24 Issue
Judge Executive Gary Robertson reported last week, the county was experiencing a budget problem and was presently some $191,000 in the red.
Robertson stated some of the reason for the shortfall in funds included the long time problem concerning the jail. The cost while the new one was being built ranged around $50,000 per month.
The county also was involve in the bailout of ambulance service to some $78,000.
Another $45,000 to keep 911 local. Hidden cost to the new judicial center, lost revenue from the new judicial center of some $77,000.
The county also is over budget some $32,000 on winter clean up. Add this to the cost of health insurance and it does appear a sincere problem is at hand.
We can see how Judge Executive Robertson is faced with a real issue the moment he opened the door to his new office, but these should not have come as any surprise as he had been a member of the fiscal court and was aware of all these issues.
In a statement last week Robertson asked the taxpayers if they wanted to cut services, which services to cut or if there were any suggestions for alternatives.
We doubt very few taxpayers will respond by saying they want to cut road maintenance, snow removal, ambulance or fire and police protection.
We doubt also that many taxpayers will come forward and say to go ahead and raise taxes.
In fact, we would not be surprised if local real estate owners did not start asking for their taxes to be lowered as their property values are lower than they have been in many years.
Real estate values are continuing to go down.
Some homes purchased in the past three or four years have seen their value reduced by as much s 20 percent.
We expect this to take some time before we see a turn around in the real estate values.
This could take an even greater bite from the county revenue.
It is a major problem for all of us and one that will not be easily or swiftly resolved.