Yerington, Nevada – Lyon County continues to work on reducing the FY14 budget before action is taken on the final budget in May. The Board of County Commissioners has already approved a tentative budget including a 6.43 cent tax increase that generated $380,000.00 in additional revenue. The Board of County Commissioners have added an additional step to the budget process by requesting a standing item to address budget issues until adoption of the final budget later in May.
County Manager Jeff Page explains that he is getting numerous questions about why all the reductions in funding and staffing when the County has more funding today then four or five years ago. Page explained that the County has lost 17.4% of its revenue since FY10 and at the same time the costs of doing business has increased.
Page also explained that the County is now paying for State provided services such as Child Protective Services, Presentence Investigation Services, Environmental Health, Developmental Services for Children at a cost of approximately $1,000,000.00 after the 2011 legislative session. He did state that he is pleased that there have been no additional services pushed down for the County to pay by this legislative session.
Page reports that since FY08 the County has reduced its workforce by approximately 25% and he expects additional reductions in force for FY14. The County has already approved the browning out of several parks and closing of a Community Center. Page expressed his pleasure with a number of civic groups that are working towards taking over maintenance and management of a couple of community centers but was not prepared to provide additional information until the legalities of the transfers were properly addressed.
Page explained that since 2010 the County has gone through a major reorganization in the Public Works arena. Prior to 2010 the County had four different Public Works departments (Roads, included vehicle maintenance, Utilities, Facilities, and Parks/Grounds). Since 2010 The County has formed the Public Works Department under the Direction of Mike Workman. The Public Works Department now consists of all those departments consolidated into four divisions.
The Road Division consists of personnel that do road maintenance and assist the Utilities Division and Buildings and Grounds Division with heavy equipment operations, weed control and utilities work.
The Fleet Division consists of mechanics from vehicle maintenance, heavy equipment and utilities to maintain all vehicles and machinery in two shops, Yerington and Dayton. This change has reduced the amount of time and mileage to maintain vehicles. The Fleet Division is currently working with other local governments to share resources and further reduce the expense of fleet maintenance.
The Buildings and Grounds Division is responsible for maintenance of county buildings, parks, cemeteries, and open space. The County consolidated personnel to address seasonal issues (weeds, snow, etc) and they are currently working with local governments to share services.
The Utilities Division is responsible for water and sewer in the Dayton area and sewer in the Silver Springs area. They also provide support to the Road Division and Buildings and Grounds Division with heavy equipment operation, snow removal, traffic control, sidewalk repair, tree trimming, etc.
The Public Works Department has had a combined loss of 40.8% of its employees since FY09.
Reorganization has not been isolated to the Public Works Department. The County Assessor and Clerk-Treasure have been sharing a position, the County Managers Office and the Building Department share the code enforcement function and the County Managers Office has been sharing Emergency Management responsibilities with the Planning Department. The County has eliminated the GIS and Engineering departments and currently contracts for those services at a reduced expense. Lyon County Human Services has eliminated seven positions and reclassified one position to a lower classification.