Luzerne County budget figures detailed in new report

By Jennifer Learn-Andes - [email protected]
Luzerne County Courthouse -

Luzerne County government spent $56.1 million, or 41 percent, of the overall general fund operating budget in the first half of the year, according to a new financial report.

On the revenue side, the county collected $110 million, or 80 percent of the $138.4 million in budgeted receipts, it said.

A more detailed breakdown is now available in this monthly budget report, which is up for discussion at tonight’s council meeting, because Councilwoman Linda McClosky Houck asked for such updates by division.

The report indicates three divisions spent more than half of their budget allotments through June 30.

The amounts spent, along with the percentages:

• Human services, $4.67 million, 54 percent

• Administrative services, $2.86 million, 65 percent

• Budget/finance, $1.73 million, 54 percent

County Administrative Services Division Head David Parsnik said Monday his higher spending percentage stems from several larger contracts that must be paid at the start of the year, including ones for liability insurance and software maintenance.

He noted spending on wages in his division was at 49 percent for the first six months.

County Budget/Finance Division Head Brian Swetz and county Manager C. David Pedri could not immediately be reached for comment Monday on their assessment of the budget figures.

The amount spent in other divisions through June 30, along with the correlating percentages, based on the report:

• Correctional services, $13.14 million, 48 percent

• Courts, $8.79 million, 46 percent

• General government (includes health insurance and postage), $6.05 million, 28 percent

• Judicial services and records, $2.2 million, 48 percent

• District Attorney, $2.05 million, 47 percent

• Operational services, $2.04 million, 48 percent

• Public defender, $1.16 million, 46 percent

• Solicitor, $931,463, 39 percent

• Controller, $116,585, 43 percent

Debt repayments are listed in a separate category. The county paid $9.47 million, or 46 percent, through the first six months of 2018.

Only 11 percent, or $887,217, has been paid in the “inter/government” category, which includes money owed to outside entities.

The county has $4.8 million remaining in reserve, which can be programmed for capital projects or to build a savings account if the funds are not needed for operating expenses.

Revenue

With real estate tax collections under its umbrella, budget/finance is the greatest revenue generator. The division logged receipts of $104.5 million, or 86 percent, through June 30.

The courts rank second for bringing in revenue, collecting $2.4 million, or 30 percent of budgeted receipts, for the first six months.

The judicial services and records division has the third highest revenue amount, bringing in $1.9 million, or 40 percent of the budgeted amount. The division includes the sheriff and coroner’s offices and departments that handle civil and criminal court records, deeds and wills.

Aside from budget/finance, no divisions have exceeded 50 percent of collections, the report said.

The revenue cited for some other divisions, along with the budgeted percentages: district attorney, $261,562, 31 percent; administrative, $97,231, 21 percent; correctional, $238,405, 25 percent; operational, $202,422, 24 percent; and public defender, $137,643, 49 percent.

Luzerne County Courthouse
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_luzcocourthouse01-6.jpgLuzerne County Courthouse

By Jennifer Learn-Andes

[email protected]

Reach Jennifer Learn-Andes at 570-991-6388 or on Twitter @TLJenLearnAndes.

Reach Jennifer Learn-Andes at 570-991-6388 or on Twitter @TLJenLearnAndes.