Gallatin County Courthouse File

The Gallatin County Courthouse is shown in this Aug. 14, 2018, file photo.

Gallatin County will present its preliminary budget for the next fiscal year at a public meeting Tuesday at 9 a.m.

The presentation will include the county’s projected revenue and the money allocated to each department. The budget will change over the next couple months as the Gallatin County commissioners get a more complete revenue picture and consider funding requests. Public hearings will be held during the commission’s regular meetings on July 16, July 23, July 30, Aug. 6 and Aug. 20.

The budget is already tight because of decisions commissioners have made over the past two years.

Last year, the commissioners gave employees a 6% raise to improve recruitment and retention. Part of the raise was paid for with $500,000 from next year’s budget. They also approved new positions that increase personnel costs for next year by about $160,000.

Although the commissioners raised salaries last year, they are giving another raise this year because a recent compensation study indicated county salaries remain low. Pay raises for the next fiscal year total $837,000.

The commissioners also have agreed to provide additional financial support to the Gallatin Rest Home next year while they find a sustainable way to keep the building open. For the last few years, the Rest Home has ended each fiscal year with a deficit and has depleted its reserves, partially because Medicaid doesn’t reimburse for the full cost of care.

This year, the commissioners gave about $295,000 to the Rest Home and will increase their commitment to about $755,000.

Next fiscal year also will include 16 additional hours of payroll, which will total about $200,000, because of how the payroll calendar falls and because 2020 is a leap year.

With salary increases and the Rest Home, the commissioners aren’t able to fulfill as many supplemental budget requests as they typically do.

The commissioners began considering supplemental budget requests during budget work sessions at the Bozeman Public Library on June 13 and 14. Among the requests are 14 new positions across several departments and major upgrades and repairs for the fairgrounds and IT equipment. The commissioners have approved some of these requests but are waiting to see how much revenue they will have before making final decisions.

Perrin Stein can be reached at 406-582-2648 or at pstein@dailychronicle.com. Follow her on Twitter @PerrinStein.

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