BRIGHAM -- The Box Elder County Commission has given its OK to a tentative 2013 budget of nearly $30 million, 3.3 percent higher than last year's because of rising personnel costs.
The main driver in the $942,000 increase is the cost of employees and their benefits. The budget includes a 2 percent cost of living raise for employees, said County Auditor Tom Kotter.
But retirement and health insurance take up a big share, he said. For example, for public safety employees, retirement costs count for 31 percent of their share. Also, there's been a 5.6 percent increase in health care costs.
Final approval of the budget is scheduled for Dec. 12.
The budget includes nearly $1 million in capital projects. These include $100,000 to renovate the County Courthouse. Also on that list is $275,000 for a new Bookmobile, $122,000 for two fire trucks, $60,000 for a water truck to be used at the county landfill and $315,000 for nine patrol vehicles.
The renovation plans at the County Courthouse involve moving the commission chambers from the second floor to the courtroom on the main level that was abandoned with the construction of the new courthouse across the street. The upstairs commission office will then be made into offices.