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5 things to know about Okaloosa County's budget

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for us to have the level of service we need for our citizens."

Okaloosa County Administrator Ernie Padgett Padgett's spending plan keeps property taxes Adidas Basketball D Rose 4

Okaloosa County Administrator Ernie Padgett Padgett's spending plan keeps property taxes steady. The millage rate will remain at 3.4308 mills.

The remaining positions are found in various departments including code enforcement, tourism development, corrections, public works and airport operations.

(Currently, residents living in unincorporated Okaloosa are part of a Municipal Services Taxing Unit that generates money to fund parks across the county.)

After spring floods caused widespread damage, Padgett has proposed moving $500,000 from the county parks fund to use on pressing storm water upgrades.

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steady. The millage rate will remain at 3.4308 mills.

County Administrator Ernie Padgett has proposed a $308 million spending plan. Although it's a 10 percent increase over the current budget, Padgett said he cut about $6 million from department requests early on.

Twenty million dollars has been set aside for three major construction projects two new buildings and one expansion. Officials plan to bundle the three projects into one financing deal an $8 million renovation of the county courthouse in Crestview; a $10 million administration building to replace the now demolished Shalimar Annex and a $2 million building for the Sheriff's Office complex in Shalimar.

"We're still playing catch up," Padgett said. "It's a lean, conservative budget that goes a long way for us to have the level of service we need for our citizens."

Padgett has proposed giving the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office an increase of $1 million. Sheriff Larry Ashley, who often is at odds with county leaders over his annual allocation, requested $33.3 million this year a roughly $3 million increase over his current budget.

"I'm just saying let's put this money to work," Padgett said. ". If we continue to neglect (storm water), it will be a crisis."

The board has four budget reviews and two public hearings scheduled between now and mid September. July 22 and Aug. Aug. Sept. 4 in Crestview. Sept. 15 in Fort Walton Beach.

Budget hearings open to public

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Unfunded state mandates, dwindling reserves and mounting personnel and equipment needs are among the major challenges facing county leaders as they deliberate the 2014 15 budget in the coming weeks.

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It's another tight budget year for Okaloosa County.

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Unfunded state mandates, dwindling reserves and mounting personnel and equipment needs are among the major challenges facing county leaders as they deliberate the 2014 15 budget in the coming weeks.

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Twenty million dollars has been set aside for three major construction projects two new buildings and one expansion. Officials plan to bundle the three projects into one financing deal an $8 million renovation of the county courthouse in Crestview; a $10 million administration building to replace the now demolished Shalimar Annex and a $2 million building for the Sheriff's Office complex in Shalimar.

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Padgett also has proposed a $500 raise for all county employees. Those raises, which total $880,000, are paid for with rebates the county receives from its insurance carrier for having an exceptional claims record.

County Administrator Ernie Padgett has proposed a $308 million spending plan. Although it's a 10 percent increase over the current budget, Padgett said he cut about $6 million from department requests early on.

$1 million increase for law enforcement

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Money has been allocated for 33 new positions including 9 full time EMTs and paramedics and 10 relief EMTs for the public safety department.

The Okaloosa County Commission has begun its 2014 15 budget deliberations. Adidas All Stars Size 1

It's another tight budget year for Okaloosa County.

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"I think it'll be a morale booster," he said. "Now, with the economy getting better, there's going to be more competition for good employees. It's a good investment for Adidas Boost Mid the future."

"We're still playing catch up," Padgett said. "It's a lean, conservative budget that goes a long way Adidas All Star Originals

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"That will allow him to give his people some pay adjustments," Padgett said.

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