WALKER - Cass County commissioners Tuesday selected Bob Kangas as chair and Jim Demgen as vice-chair for the 2009 county board. Newly elected Commissioner Dick Downham and re-elected Commissioner Jeff Peterson were sworn into office.
Cass Chief Financial Officer Larry Wolfe reported the state withheld $336,313 from the county's expected December 2008 financial aids.
Administrator Robert Yochum said cost savings in 2008 expenditures from the original budget projection will recover some of the state aid losses. Wolfe said any balance will have to be paid by spending down the county's reserve fund.
Wolfe told the board to plan to lose at least $860,000 from 2009 state program aids. Demgen said the county's state aid loss could run as high as $4 million.
Department heads are submitting this week recommendations on where they might be able to make cuts in their 2009 budgets. The county citizen budget committee will meet Jan. 27 to consider possible 2009 budget cuts from the amount the board certified in December, then will recommend budget changes to the board at the Feb. 3 regular board meeting.
Tuesday, the board put a hold on ordering any new equipment from the previously approved 2009 $913,855 equipment list and a hold on any replacement hiring to fill vacancies until after Feb. 3.
The board authorized Health, Human and Veterans Services Director Dorothy Opheim to check the merit system roster for possible eligible replacement employees for two vacant positions in the child support collections unit, but tabled until the budget committee report is ready any authorization to fill those vacancies.
The board selected low bidder Pilot Independent as the county's 2009 legal notice publisher, with Echo Publishing and Pine River Journal to print second additional publications.
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