Monday, August 26, 2013

Commish approves $3.7M in expenses

The Knox County Commission on Monday unanimously approved a $3.7 million governmental shopping list with more than half of it targeted for health care, employee raises, new patrol cars, software upgrades and service contracts.

The money will come from some $7.6 million in surplus revenues the county is expected to reap when it closes the books on the recently wrapped up fiscal year.

"It's all one-time money, so it should only be used for one-time expenses," said Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett, whose office, along with the county's finance department, put together the designations. "We're not Washington where we're going to start putting this toward recurring expenses. But these are items that are good for the county."

Commissioner Ed Shouse agreed.

"As long as it's one-time money, then I'm fine with it because we can't always plan on having a big surplus," he said.

Of the overall $7.6 million in additional revenues, officials plan to allocate $2 million for the reserves and another $1.9 million for additional health insurance coverage; risk management areas, like worker's compensation; and air quality matters.

The remaining $3.7 million will pay for the designations approved Monday. Of that money, just under two-thirds was set aside for public safety and the health department.

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