The Miami County commissioners approved the 2017 county tax budget, the first of two steps in the annual budgeting process, during their July 14 meeting.

The tax budget was based on funding requests from elected officials and department heads. Before a final budget and 2017 appropriations are approved late in the year, the commissioners will meet with those department leaders to review in-depth requests for funding.

The commissioners pointed out that the budget requests in the general fund, before undergoing any review, were just 1 percent more than the 2016 final appropriations.

The requested spending in the general fund was $30,848,697 while that for the total budget was $91,266,379.

In comments before approving the tax budget, the commissioners thanked the elected officials and department heads for their continuing cooperation in controlling the county budget. The last major reductions in the budget were made in 2010 when more than $4 million was cut from the general fund.

Budget surpluses have occurred since but the next budget could be tighter with the cost of renting beds to house female inmates in Shelby County and opening the third pod at the county Incarceration Facility being planned for some time this year, the commissioners said. “This will require us to review our financial condition with the county auditor to ensure a positive cash flow and take action when needed,” Commissioner Jack Evans said.

The sheriff’s office has been working to hire the added correction officers needed to run the third pod, which would be used for females. The facility’s two open pods hold male inmates.

The commissioners also approved the tax budget for the Troy-Miami County Public Library. That budget totals around $2 million a year.

In other business last week, the commission:

- Approved a contract with John R. Jurgensen Co. of Springfield for the 2016 road paving program. The company bid $1,294,279 for the contract.

County Engineer Paul Huelskamp said earlier this year the program would involve paving around 17 miles of roads. The county is responsible for more than 400 miles of road to maintain.

- Authorized the facilities maintenance department to dispose of two vehicles determined to be obsolete and unfit.

A 1998 Ford E-350 Cargo Van will be sold to Didier Auto Parks, doing business as Polings Auto Parts for a $500 scrap value and a 1996 Chevy Lumina will be sold to Dale’s Goodyear for a $250 scrap value.

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