$1.75M budget shortfall causes first cutbacks in Lyon County

Facing a possible budget shortfall of $1.75 million, Lyon County commissioners are cutting back.

Saying this is going to be a difficult budget year, Lyon County Comptroller Josh Foli gave commissioners projections of revenue and budget requests for fiscal year 2007/2008, two weeks before budget hearings are to begin.

"This is the first time in two years the budget is not in balance," he said.

Budget hearings will be held March 14-15 in Yerington.

"We go through and take a look at what we can eliminate from the budget," Foli said.

On Thursday the commission tabled a request from the City of Yerington for an interlocal agreement that gives the city $200,000 per year until after March 15, when the county will learn its share of consolidated tax revenue.

"The problem is, we can't commit to anything until we can get through the budget hearings," said Commissioner Leroy Goodman.

The commissioners agreed to schedule a workshop with Yerington officials after the budget hearings.

They also canceled a planned trip for seven county officials to Longmont, Colo., to take part in a seminar by the National Institute of Corrections' Planning of New Institutions program on March 27-29.

Sheriff Allen Veil said Lyon County officials can be scheduled for the August workshop of the same program.

Bob Hadfield, interim county manager, said that with the county looking at 10 percent growth and revenue shortfalls, this year would be a "challenge."

Hadfield said the state Legislature may not be aware of what counties are facing.

"There is broad perception in Carson City that county governments are better off than they are," he said. "It's hard to make them realize there's a money issue."

Hadfield predicted Gov. Jim Gibbons would hold out for a vote on any new increases in spending, regardless of the purpose.

He agreed to draft a message to legislators outlining the county's fiscal challenges.

Commissioner Bob Milz said Lyon County was not alone in its difficulties.

"It's not just this county but many counties that are having trouble because of what was done by the Legislature (at the last session)," he said.

Commissioner Leroy Goodman said a proposed bill, SB 96, would reduce the rate of the basic governmental services tax.

"With this kind of act, capital improvements are a thing of the past," he said.

• Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at kwoodmansee@nevadaappeal.com or 882-2111 ext. 351.


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