Prior to a budget hearing conducted by the Delta County Commissioners Monday morning, and during constituent time the morning of the commissioners' Dec. 3 meeting, Delta County Citizen Report president JoAnn Kalenak read a letter accusing the county of violating Colorado State Statutes in its preparation of the proposed 2019 budget.
Following the budget hearing, Commissioner Atchley responded to the DCCR allegations.
Atchley said, "We take these allegations very seriously and want the record to be clear that Delta County's budget is not in violation of state statutes.
"Delta County follows the guidelines and suggestions that are provided by the Department of Local Affairs. DOLA provides a check list for local governments to help them ensure they are in compliance, and we utilize this check list each year."
He then proceeded to address each of the Citizen Report's three allegations, including the use of "blanket" figures.
Atchley said CRS 29-1-103 requires that the county include explanatory schedules of statements classifying expenditures by object and revenues by source. DCCR is confused by the term "object," Atchley said. This is an accounting term. An object is a broad (blanket) category of similar expenses like salaries, benefits, professional services, supplies. Object does not mean the county has to list every single possible expense, Atchley said. This would make the budget impractical and unusable.
"The Delta County budget includes object level expenditures in all funds, including the Conservation Trust Fund, Open Space Fund, and Capital Project Fund. The budget is absolutely in compliance with statutory requirements," he said.
A collaborative effort between the Delta County Sheriff's Office and municipal law enforcement agencies throughout Delta County has resulted in a proposal for a 1 percent sales tax increase to fund public safety. A PowerPoint presentation titled "Back the Badge" is starting to make the rounds at city/town council meetings, service club luncheons and other events.