NewsMissoula County


Missoula changing approach to explaining county budget

Posted at 8:32 AM, Jul 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-29 10:32:21-04

MISSOULA – Missoula County officials are changing the way they break down the budget for the public in advance of the 2020 planning season.

Missoula County Chief Financial Officer Andrew Czorny introduced the sustainment budget, saying the approach is geared towards making the numbers easier for the public to understand.

“The intent of the sustainment budget is to provide transparency to the public and show them what it costs just to continue current county operations with no increases to programs or budget requests,” Czorny explained.

The preliminary sustainment budget outlines the use of almost $184 million with projected revenues of only around $170 million.

The Montana Department of Revenue does not release the certified taxable property values until Aug, 5, and then the county budget will be adjusted.

The projected cost of personnel is increasing but the county officials note that’s a normal occurance.

The cost increases are related to increases in health insurance, salary increases based on collective bargaining agreements, the addition of two school resource officers and recreation access deputies, and the increase in salary for entry-level employees.

“I think it’s our responsibility to, A provide our employees a living wage here in Missoula County, and B, respect the collective bargaining agreements we have with unions representing Missoula county employees and that does come at a cost,” Missoula County Commissioner Dave Strohmaier said.

Public comment on the budget will be accepted during the Missoula County Commission’s Aug. 22 meeting.