Judge-Executive Tim Hutchins unveils first draft of 2023-24 county budget


Monday, May 1, 2023 — Nelson County Judge Executive Tim Hutchins unveiled his proposed 2023-24 budget at a special-called meeting Monday afternoon of Nelson Fiscal Court.


PAY RAISES. Hutchins called his draft budget a conservative one, though it does include at least a 6.5 percent raise for county employees, and he said some employees may receive more in order to get their wages to a competitive level.

The budget includes a proposed 8.5 percent pay increase for dispatch employees, and the budget makes the sheriff’s office raises retroactive to Jan. 1, 2023.

The budget includes the assumption that Nelson County Dispatch will become a unit of county government, Hutchins said.

“We have to be competitive with other counties and cities,” Hutchins said. “It’s getting tougher and tougher all the time, and we’re in competition with the private sector also.”

Better pay will improve the county’s ability to keep its current employees and recruit new ones, he said. “Hopefully this will stop the bleeding.”

Hutchins took time to praise the Nelson County Correctional Center’s new inmate work-release program that’s helped mow county property and pick up garbage along county roads as a way to save money.

ASPHALT FUND INCREASE. Most of the magistrates received between $100,000 to $120,000 for paving last year. This year, Hutchins is pulling funds from the county’s ARPA funds to give each district an additional $100,000 for paving.

RAINY DAY FUND. With additional barrel tax revenue expected in the next budget year, Hutchins has proposed investing up to $400,000 in a rainy day fund that would be set aside for emergencies.

Because the budget document is considered a “draft,” it was not released to the public or the media. Hutchins plans to discuss various aspects of the budget at future court meetings and special working sessions if required.

NEXT UP. Nelson Fiscal Court will next meet at a special-called meeting at 4 p.m. Thursday, May 4, 2023.


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