Council Finds $17,000 To Spare In Current Budget

December 22, 1991|By Carol L. Bowers | Carol L. Bowers,SUN STAFF

Like department chiefs throughout county government, County Council members went through the current budget last week, looking for potential cuts.

The council identified about $17,000, or about 2 percent, of its operating budget that could be cut if the General Assembly votes next month to support the governor's proposal to trim state aid to Harford by another $5 million. Using his discretionary powers, thegovernor already has cut about $6.4 million in state aid to Harford.

Among the proposed cuts of the council budget:

* $2,500 from the overtime budget for council staff.

* $2,000 for outside professional services such as printing.

* $5,000 for council members' mileage reimbursement.

However, council president Jeffrey D. Wilson said the council would not give final approval transferring the money back to the county's general fund unless members agreed that the dollars would be used for expenditures they supported.

"I think we need to not just give it back to the executive, but to say, if we feel satisfied with what you propose to do with it, this money is available," said Wilson. The council approved that plan by general consent, not by vote.

County Executive Eileen M. Rehrmann has not decided which areas of the county's $140.9 million operating budget will need tobe shored up as a result of the state budget cuts. She has asked allcounty agencies to cut their budgets by 2 percent or more.

In keeping with the atmosphere of financial prudence, council members also approved on Monday an $862,290 council operating budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 1992.

The proposed council budget is about $8,500 less than this year's.

The $8,500 was saved by reducing the amount allocated for photographic services by $2,000, and by reducing by $5,000 the amount council members would be reimbursed for mileage. The remaining $1,500 came from cuts in the overtime budget for the council's support staff.

Council members agreed to hire an independent auditor to advise them during the county-wide budget approvalprocess.

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