TAVARES — The Lake County Board of County Commissioners approved its 2009-2010 fiscal year budget at a second public hearing on Tuesday evening.
The $411 million approved budget is $44 million less than last year’s. As part of the budget approval process, Commissioners also approved final millage rates: Lake County Countywide 4.6511 mills, Voter-Approved Debt Service for Public Lands 0.1101 mills, Municipal Services Taxing Unit (MSTU) for Ambulance and Emergency Medical Services 0.4651 mills, MSTU for Stormwater Management, Parks and Roads 0.4984 mills and MSTU for Fire Rescue/Emergency Medical Services 0.3222 mills. A mill is one-tenth of a penny. A mill levy is the number of dollars a taxpayer must pay for every $1,000 of assessed value.
The County Manager’s goals during the process of constructing the budget were to create a balanced budget, establish a balance between reduced revenues and services provided, reflect priorities of County Commissioners, consolidate the County’s organizational structure and place the County in a financial position to weather the distressed economy for the next two years.
A variety of reductions was approved in the budget, including:
• Eliminates 93 positions from previous layoffs, attritions and early retirements
• Requires all County employees, except firefighters and Building Services employees, to take 12 unpaid furlough days during the fiscal year, which equates to about a 4.6 percent salary reduction
• Closing of Astor and Paisley libraries one day a week; reduces hours of Cagan Crossings Community Library and eliminates the Books-by-Mail Program, except for the homebound
• Eliminating the director position of the Lake County Historical Museum and transferring the oversight responsibilities of the museum to the Lake County Historical Society; the museum will remain on the first floor of the Lake County Historic Courthouse, 317 W. Main St., Tavares
For more information about the Lake County 2009-2010 Fiscal Year Budget, call the Lake County Department of Budget at (352) 343-9452.