County begins budget work

ESCANABA – Though still a few months away, Delta County officials are planning ahead for the 2013-14 fiscal year.

The Delta County Board of Commissioners held a budget workshop Thursday afternoon, where they met with the district court and friend of the court department heads to hear their budget needs for fiscal year 2013-14.

District Court Judge Glenn Pearson updated the board on some of the recent developments in his department including the hiring of Emily DeSalvo as the new district court administrator/magistrate. DeSalvo was a former probation officer in the department and filled her new position after the resignation of former court administrator Tammy George.

Pearson said there have been a couple other recent changes in district court including two employee retirements in February, and the department is currently getting by with just one probation officer.

Since district court is entering a contract year with its union, the department’s budget requests for 2013-14 are still questionable, said Pearson.

However, he indicated his desire to begin negotiations with union representatives even this month.

“I know we’re scheduled for June 1, but the sooner the better for me and also so we can have a better idea of where it fits into the budget requests,” he said.

Otherwise, Pearson said the department has done well staying within their overall budget.

J.P. Rudell, from the friend of the court department, said everyone in the department has been working very hard so they are able to work within the budget.

For 2013-14, Rudell proposed adding $500 to the department’s office supplies line item.

“We had a copier break down and it was like $600 to fix it, and then a month later, it broke again and it was going to be expensive to fix again,” said Rudell. “Lake Superior Business Machines offered to put it under contract. They’d pay for the repair and then we would be under a contract for a year thereafter and it was $500.”

Rudell said the contract includes toner for the machine, which he estimates the office spends between $200 to $300 on each year.

“I don’t think we would have gone wrong either way,” he said. “One way we would have to spend $500 for equipment and then $200 to $300 each year for toner, and this way we just have to pay paper. We have the machine, we’re familiar with it, and it works well for our needs.”

The board made a motion to recommend the department’s request.