SHERIDAN — Sheridan County’s reserves are projected to nearly double in Fiscal Year 2022, according to a county budget approved Tuesday morning.
In FY2021, the county’s reserves were budgeted at $6.82 million. In the FY2022 budget, which was approved by the Sheridan County Commission Tuesday morning, the county budgeted for $12.58 million in reserves.
County Administrative Director Renee Obermueller said the county under-budgeted for revenues in FY2021, expecting a loss of revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, last year’s revenues — including COVID-19 relief funding — were above average, and those excess dollars went straight into reserves.
“We captured some pretty substantial reserves this year due to ... excess revenues we didn’t budget last year,” Obermueller said. “(In the FY2021 budget,) we actually reduced revenues because we didn’t know what impact COVID was going to have on our budget. But we also exceeded probably what we would have had in a normal year … because of the growth in the community and what we have seen as far as sales tax and building permits and fees.”
The excess funds the county received in FY2021 will also allow the county to pursue a variety of capital projects in 2022. Many projects had been delayed until the county had sufficient funding to proceed, Obermueller said, and the county’s capital projects line item will jump from $794,120 in FY2021 to $1.81 million in FY2022.
“When we have the funding, we catch up on some of the things we’ve been putting to the side,” Obermueller said. “So our capital budget is quite a bit larger than it was the prior year.”
Obermueller said capital projects scheduled for the next fiscal year include new siding and a sprinkler system at the Sheridan County Detention Center; a new section of roof at the Sheridan County Sheriff’s Office; upgraded lighting and some new windows and doors at the Sheridan County Courthouse; and continued archiving of county documents, among other projects.
The $1 million increase in capital projects accounts for this year’s 9% increase in expenses, which jumped from $16.04 million in FY2021 to $17.51 million in FY2022, Obermueller said. Alongside the increase in expenses is a growth in revenues, which are projected to increase 20% from $14.86 million to $17.86 million.
The county budget funds a variety of facets of county government — from the county attorney and sheriff’s office to public health and elections.
With $3.01 million, funding for the Sheridan County Detention Center accounts for 17% of this year’s expenditures, while the sheriff’s office accounts for $2.10 million or 12% of the total expenditure budget. General government expenses including staff benefits and salaries; telephone and computer services; and financial contributions to the hospital, library, fair board and airport will make up 14% of the budget or $2.49 million,
In other Sheridan County Commission news:
Commissioners awarded a $207,745 bid to Modern Electric of Sheridan for a new standby generator for the Sheridan County Fulmer Public Library.
Modern Electric was one of two companies to bid the projects, according to Library Director Cameron Duff. Dick Anderson Construction also bid out the project.
The standby generator is part of ongoing work at the library, including replacement of the roof and the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, Duff said. The project starts Aug. 1 and Duff expects completion by mid-December. The 220 KW generator will have the ability to power the entire library.
Commissioners approved a maintenance and support service agreement with Election Systems and Software LLC for hardware maintenance and software updates for the county’s election equipment.
The agreement extends through August 2026, Obermueller said, and costs $26,000 for the hardware and $86,000 for the software, split over five years.