The 2020 Logan County budget is still a work in progress, according to Judge Ray Gack. As of last week, County Treasurer Mickey Oats was still working with elected officials to see how much turnback each department would have and their predicted budgets.

“Aside from waiting on state numbers, Mickey still has to meet with Sheriff Massey and I believe that he is the last person she will meet with, so hopefully by next week we will know how our budget will look.”

Judge Gack said that all departments have their “wish lists” turned in for their department wants and needs, and that the significant 2020 project for him will be to find the money to redo the bell tower.

“The bell tower is no longer a wish, but now an absolute need due to the wood falling off of it. We made other improvements to the courthouse with funds from a grant, but now that those funds have run out, it falls solely on the county to take care of.”

$350,000 was proposed for Judge Gack for his wish lists needs and even though he would like to have more employees and more county equipment, there is not enough money for those wants at the time. Gack is estimating that the renovations to the bell tower could run in the vicinity of $250,000 to $300,000, but that the county can apply for state aid and grants for road improvements to help make up the loss of funds from the bell tower.

“As soon as the all elected officials turn in their numbers to Mickey, meetings with each elected official and department head will start taking place to go over the wish lists and separate the needs from the wants. There is a difference between the needs of a department and the wants. We have to meet their needs and if there is money left over, we take care of the wants.”

Judge Gack is predicting that the meetings can start taking place shortly. At the current time, the county is waiting to hear back with quotes from the insurance company for the 2020 insurance policy rates.

“The first initial quote we received was going to be a 29 percent increase from 2019. Other than that, we are just waiting for all of our numbers to come in to see what we can afford.”

The proposed county budget will be presented to the budget committee at the December Quorum Court meeting.