Osceola County adopts budget for fiscal year 2023

Unreserved fund balance fills deficit gap once again

The Osceola County board of commissioners adopted the FY2023 budget resolution during it meeting last week.

The Osceola County board of commissioners adopted the FY2023 budget resolution during it meeting last week.

Tyler Thompson

OSCEOLA COUNTY — The Osceola County board of commissioners approved the fiscal year 2023 budget resolution and appropriations act, and the FY2023 budget proposal during its meeting last week.

“We have everything prepared to move forward with adopting the budget for fiscal year 2023,” county coordinator Tim Ladd told the board. “As I mentioned, we are a total of over $500,000 in the red that we will have to use of the fund balance to balance the budget.”

The budget resolution and appropriations act defines how the county will collect revenues and how they will spend the monies, board chair Mark Gregory said.

The resolution states that the county treasurer is directed to collect 6.3717 mills for the period Jan. 1, 2023, to Dec. 31, 2023, on all real and personal taxable property in Osceola County for the general operating budget.

In addition, the following millages will be collected:

  • 1.0000 mill for road patrol; 
  • 1.0000 mill for school resource officers/operations; 
  • 1.3139 mills for emergency medical services;
  • 0.9879 mills for the commission on aging; and
  • .2500 mills for MSU Extension

The FY2023 budget proposal shows general fund revenues and expenditures estimated at $11,233,943. Revenues include a transfer in of $98,000 from the delinquent tax fund and $526,239 from the unreserved fund balance.

Total revenues and expenditures for all funds in the county budget is estimated at $28,484,156.

During a previous meeting, finance committee chairperson Sally Momany told the board that in September they had a proposed balanced budget that was about $26,000 in the black, but it included recommendations for removal of several special projects, reduced staff in various offices and potentially cutting some services.

“Discussion by the finance committee included possibly eliminating a part-time detective position in the Sheriff’s Office, reducing the sheriff’s office staff to six road patrol deputies and four school resource officers and eliminating the K9 Unit,” Momany said. “Other proposals included eliminating a part-time position in the emergency management department, reducing the clerk’s office staff from five to four employees, and reducing the information technology position from full time to part time.”

Consideration was also given to the possibility of eliminating the animal control department and privatizing the animal shelter, she said.

“After hearing from department heads and members of the public, the board reconsidered those cuts,” she said.

Board members agreed that looking ahead to next year and beyond, steps need to be taken to maintain a balanced budget without depending on the reserve fund balance.

Gregory said it is his goal to put a plan in place where they can present a balanced budget in the next two or three years and can do it through cost savings and not at the cost of employees

Some potential cost savings being discussed include the privatization of the animal shelter, joining a consortium for IT services and offering additional buy-outs for employee benefits.