ORANGE — Every budget starts with a rough draft.
The initial budget for the county includes the wish lists from every department leaving the county with a budget of $42,860,286 for the 2012-2013 Fiscal Year.
“This number has to come down,” County Judge Carl Thibodeaux said.
The expected revenues for the 2012-2013 fiscal year is $41,433,766.
Thibodeaux reminded everyone present at the budget workshop that the Capital outlay included items that would need to be prioritized and some would need to be cut from the budget.
“I am confidant with the numbers,” Thibodeaux said. “We have to start somewhere so we asked each department to send in their wish list for the coming year.”
Thibodeaux also said he was considering the changes that could happen to the 2014 and 2015 budgets when the health care laws take effect. The change could increase the amount the county will need to pay in preventative care benefits.
The county has been living off the funds balance in the capital outlay.
“Now we need to build the fund balance again,” Thibodeaux said. “The County has to be here a lot longer than us.”
The county will look at expense items in every department including fuel and cell phone use.
The county will also make changes in hiring practices. Unnamed departments hired personal without the courts’ approval while the county was exercising a hiring freeze. The court has approved the replacement of personal during the freeze when the request was made before the Commissioners.
John Dubose, Pct. 3, asked the department heads to take a good look at their requests and if the requests are really something they will need in the coming year.
“Ask yourself if the piece of equipment can last one more year,” Dubose said.
Jody Crump, Pct. 4, agreed with Dubose.
“All the little things add up to big things,” Crump said.
The budget workshops continue at 10 a.m. Thursday and Friday at the Commissioners Courtroom located in the Orange County Administration Building located at 123 South Sixth Street in Orange.