By Gina Smith
August 04, 2012 

As the old ABBA song goes:

“Money, money, money
Must be funny
In the rich man’s world
Money, money, money
Always sunny
In the rich man’s world”

With the new fiscal year upon us, things are not so sunny as the county tries to hammer out the 2012-2013 budgets.

Though the fiscal year started July 1st, the Lincoln County budget is at an impasse.

The budget has been approved, but county commissioners are still in negotiations with the employee associations to work on county employees’ salaries. This is proving to be a major challenge.

The county budget is essentially split into two areas: supplies and salaries. For the past few years, the budget has been cut on the supplies-end drastically – to a point where there isn’t much left to cut. This leaves the commissioners with the difficult task of cutting the budget on salaries for county employees.

This leads to negotiations with unions that represent the employees.

What complicates matters more is that the revenue for Lincoln County is down, while cost of living and county operating expenses continue to rise. With the fiscal year already a month old, agencies have been advised to operate as usual until the final numbers are implemented. The danger to that is if a drastic budget cut is in place, will there be enough money at the end of the fiscal year?

The budget will be looked at again at the county commissioners meeting on Monday starting at 9 a.m. in the Lincoln County Courthouse.