Several Concerns Remain to Be Addressed, As Pulaski County’s Budget Discussions Continue

The Pulaski County Council is hoping to cut budgets, adjust the salary matrix, and start reconfiguring the county’s tax structure, all within the next month or so. Council members will continue discussing potential budget cuts with department heads tonight and next Monday at 7:00 p.m. EDT in the Pulaski County Highway Garage. During last week’s special session, Council Member Kathi Thompson said there are still several departments they need to see.

Auditor Laura Wheeler felt the council should also hold a special session to start discussing changes to the county’s income tax structure. She noted that it will be a lengthy process requiring public hearings, and notice has to be published well in advance.

Thompson hoped that Peters Municipal Consultants would be able to provide its next round of financial analysis in time for council members to discuss it at their next regular meeting on August 12. County officials also want to take a look at the salary matrix. Specifically, Thompson is suggesting an adjustment to Highway Department pay. But Wheeler said the matrix could be adjusted after the August 12 meeting, without impacting the budget time-line.

After the current round of preliminary budget discussions ends, council members plan to have their regular budget hearings next month, where department heads present their more finalized requests. However, Council President Jay Sullivan wasn’t sure those meetings were still needed.