YC to start year with inflated budget

Yuma County’s 2022 budget will be nearly $4 million more than in 2021, but it is not the case of spending more of the local taxpayers’ hard-earned money.
The county’s 2022 budget received final approval recently the Yuma County Commissioners. The total budget is set at $26.36 million, compared to $22.45 million this year.
However, much of that is accounted for through federal and grant funds.
The Department of Human Services budget is set at $6.56 million, nearly $2 million more than in 2021. It was explained, though, the vast majority of that is due to increases in federal pass-through programs at Human Services. (Read more about where those funds go below.)
The county also has received funds through the American Rescue Act Plan.
The Grant Fund total is nearly $1 million more than in 2021, budgeted at $1.67 million in 2022, compared to $695,777 this year. State grants account for that increase as it is budgeted at $1.37 million, compared to $400,000 in 2021. Even this year’s budget is much higher in state grants than in previous years as that line item was zero in 2020, and $50,000 in 2018 and 2019.
Yuma County also is going to be the fiscal agent for the regional opioid funds, which will be administered through a Regional Opioid Council. That is a new line item coming in at $120,000. The funds come from the federal government’s opioid crisis settlement with big pharmaceutical companies.
Yuma County’s General Fund is set at $7.16 million, compared to $6.7 million in 2021.
The county has agreed to increase funding to the 13th Judicial District Attorney’s Office by $40,000 to $261,985. However, the county has committed an increase to funding only through the first six months of 2022. There is dissatisfaction from local law enforcement by the work coming out of the DA’s office currently, and the lack of collaboration between the DA’s Office and local law enforcement.
The commissioners agreed to Sheriff Todd Combs’ recommendation to the increase for six months, but any further increase will be pending substantive improvement in services. (Read more about the district attorney situation in an upcoming edition of the Pioneer.)
General Fund expenditures are budgeted at $300,000 more than in 2021.
The Sheriff’s Office (patrol and administration) after an increase in 2021 is being reduced by $7,000 to $989,626. That line item had been as high as $1.03 million as of 2019.
The County Jail budget continues to see incremental increases, being set at $1.18 million in 2022, less than $100,000 more than in 2021.
The Commissioners line item has increased by about $21,000 to $583,123, but is still well below the $614,814 in 2020.
The County Clerk’s budget is being increased by $20,000 to $391,345.
The County Clerk/Public Trustee budget is going up $12,000 to $253,133.
The County Assessor’s is seeing an increase of about $41,000 to $425,488.
The Golden Plains Extension Office is going up slightly to $236,289.
Yuma County Fair’s budget remains the same at $207,190, after increasing that line item by about $20,000 in 2021.
Besides the DA Office, the county provides funds to other regional services — such as $97,010 to the Northeast Colorado Department of Health, $520,000 as the county’s share to E911, $26,511 to Eastern Colorado Services for Developmentally Disabled, $39,395 to the Northeast Colorado Transportation Authority, $45,000 for economic development, and $124,005 to the Yuma County Landfill.
Yuma County also has budgeted $139,599 for the CDL Testing Unit, which was added in recent years.
The county has $925,000 budgeted for capital acquisition, which is the same as in 2021, and well below previous years when it was as high as $2.3 million in 2018.
Yuma County Road and Bridge’s total budget for 2022 is $6.96 million, which is slightly above this year’s budgeted amount.
The Yuma County Landfill, which is passed through the budget and receives funding from the other entities in the county, is set at $436,193 in 2022, considerably lower than its 2021 budget of $507,068.
Yuma County’s Emergency Reserve is remaining constant at $493,000.