The Calhoun Commission has tenuously prepared a budget for 2002-03 at a special meeting held this week, but not without suffering through mandated costs from the State of West Virginia.

Commission President Larry McCallister says "It is a challenging task."

The Commission was advised they are expected to pay $44,995 for telecommunications, computer, maintenance and support services to the State Tax Department for the Assessors Office.

The county is currently paying other mandated charges to the State of West Virginia for computer lines and other fees of about $15,000. The costs for the "state support" has risen for the Assessor's Office from $30,989 last year.

The costs to run the Assessor's Office, linked to Charleston is reaching $60,000 a year.

The State Supreme Court is submitting a bill to the Commission for $8,383 for a recent audit, partially linked to discrepancies in former Magistrate Steve Johnson's office. Another audit last year cost about $7,500, which doubled the former costs.

The Commission did receive a Supreme Court "redistribution" of about $12,000 to help defray magistrate court charges. The county provides space, utilities and pays for phone lines, in addition to assuming some costs of a new two-way video system which is purported to improve and reduce costs for arraignments and hearings at Central Regional Jail.

"These are just some of the mandated costs to counties," said Commission President Larry McCallister. "Not to mention the burden of the regional jail charges, which continue to increase."

The line items listed in the $1,112,701.00 budget.

County Commission - $79,700

County Clerk - $100,470

Circuit Clerk - $78,717

Sheriffs Office - $132, 910

Prosecuting Attorney - $69,000

Assessor - $113,000

Circuit Judge - $1,200

Community Development - $9,850

Regional Develop Authority - $2,345

Elections - $19,400

Courthouse - $146,665

Law Enforcement - $82,894

Service of Process $9,770

Mental Health - $3,000

Vital Statistics - $200

County Park - $22,700

Emergency Services - 0

Statewide Computer - $44,995

Regional Jail - $60,000

Valuation - $22,000

Dog Warden - 0

Tobacco Grant Program - $28,000 Health Department - $1,000

WV Extension Office - $1,300

E-911 - $83,585

Miscellaneous - 0

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