Claremore Daily Progress

June 4, 2013

Commissioners wait to approve temporary appropriation application

Mark Friedel
Staff Reporter

CLAREMORE —

Rogers County Commissioners voted Monday to postpone the approval of a temporary appropriation application for county funds until June 17. Department heads and elected officials will meet then to discuss their estimate of needs for the county.  
“The temporary appropriation has nothing to do with the budget,” said CPA for Rogers County Bill Turner. “All this lets us do is spend money after July 1 until we come up with a finalized budget.”
Turner said he sent an amount to the county clerk for the appropriation that roughly totaled the amount in budget numbers for last year.
“Generally we will make it for that amount or less. In the past (board of commissioners) have agreed on 50 percent of budget numbers from the previous year,” said Turner
Commissioners cannot pay any bills until they have completed a temporary appropriation in which the execise board will need to approve by June 30, he said.
The amount includes all county cities, towns and schools.
“If we drug out the time period for a finalized budget to say November or December, and sometimes we’ve done that, and only make the appropriation for 25 percent of last year’s budget that you get into a problem with having to reappropriate funds. But, we usually have ours done a lot sooner than that,” Turner said.
Turner said the law changed 25-30 years ago that stated counties had to limit the amount put in the temporary fund.
During Monday’s meeting, District 2  Commissioner Mike Helm decided to have the board wait until June 17 to approve the application until estimated needs from all departments have been reported to the assessor and treasurer.
District 1 Commissioner Dan Delozier clarified the fact that the final budget does not need to be approved by July 1, but the application for a temporary appropriation does.
“A lot of the process for finalizing a budget is held up by the state tax commission,” said Turner. “They’re giving us numbers for evaluations and we don’t have those most of the time until the middle of August. That puts us almost at the first of September before we can have our budget approved.”
Comparing cities’ budgets to counties’, Delozier said counties have a lot more entities to collect than cities do, creating a longer process for budget approval.