Twelve departments want to spend a total of nearly $1.3 million more in 2015 than they will this year – a request Allen County Council members will review and probably reduce when they begin their annual budget deliberations Wednesday.
In one sense, that challenge will not be as daunting as it seems. Thanks to 2015 revenues that are expected to exceed this year's county budget by nearly $2 million and four departments requesting a total of $97,230 less than they expect to spend this year, council would have plenty of operating cash to approve every requested increase if it chooses to do so.
Still, an additional $1.74 million in capital equipment requests, coupled with the size of some of the departments' proposed day-to-day budget increases, could give council members plenty to discuss – especially if they want to give the county's 1,300 employees a raise next year.
“I don't think we can approve everything. I am in favor of giving at least some raise, and every 1 percent costs $500,000,” Council President Darren Vogt said. “(Department heads) say they want to give raises, but they keep asking for more and more money.”