Blair County Budget
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Blair County commissioners said the lack of answers surrounding the Pennsylvania state budget is worrisome as they try to create the county's 2018 budget. Commissioner Bruce Erb said Wednesday that the commissioners have been meeting with department heads in the county about the local budget but they have to do so without knowing what money they'll have to work with over the next fiscal year. "We don't know exactly what the state is doing so as a result it's created a high amount of uncertainty and some anxiety." Commissioners were also concerned in June after the county audit revealed a small carryover for the next year. The audit report shows the county has a carryover of $1.5 million from the calendar year 2016-2017. Commissioners say that isn't very much. County administrator Helen Schmitt said after the report that the county has thousands tied down in committed funds for required costs, including post-retirement health care expenses, Valley View employees and workers compensation claims. Carryover is the money with which the county would need to operate for the year without any new state money coming in. If the state budget doesn't pass, the county will have to do just that. However the carryover would not even cover three payrolls for county government, commissioners said. "Approximately 45 percent of our revenue comes from the state, and if they slow or stop those payments, we find ourselves in an immediate hardship."