Branch County must cut $3.4M from 2023 budget requests

BRANCH COUNTY — Budgeting for 2023 began last month for county administrator Bud Norman. Rather than “budget hearings” with the public and commissioners, he meets with elected officials and department heads in August to hear their requests for 2023.

The total for the coming year came to $16,569,074. Norman estimated revenues at $13,159,479, an increase of $787,181 over 2022.

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A deficit of $3.4 million must be cut from requests to balance the budget by Dec. 31. Last year, $3.1 million was cut during the budget process.

Norman explained that, over the next three months, he would come back with reports on where he made cuts with the final “tough decisions” left for commissioners.

The county eliminated its two-tier pay policy in April. That raised the wages of employees hired over the past 11 years who had lower starting wages than previous hires. The county now provides one pay scale for all employees. The tier elimination was done to retain employees and find people to fill vacant positions.

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