HOUSTON COUNTY, Ala. (WDHN) — With the price of gas, all the way to project materials being up inflation is making its impact on the county level.
Just this week, Houston County Commissioners had to approve adding funds to the county’s fuel budget by $540,000 to cover fuel costs which are vital for the county to pick up trash and keep sheriff deputies on the road.
“The fuel is the thing that just jumps out at you,” Houston County Chairman, Mark Culver said, “In addition to that, we have a lot of projects ongoing, “
The county’s road and building projects are also costing more than expected. Culver said estimations for projects are often done months or even years before construction actually starts and with costs going up tremendously, some projects are coming in over budget.
“We just bid a project that had a 170,000 budget and it came in over half 1 million dollars,” Culver said. “We can’t just absorb those things. We have to make some choices. The increased cost is definitely impacting our budget.”
In addition, a building that will house, EMA, sheriff and homeland security equipment could also cost the county more. At first, the project was estimated at $1,000,000 and now with costs, this project could cost the county close to $5,000,000.
However, despite the increased cost, Culver tells WDHN the county plans for emergencies like these, and they have the funds covered.
“We’ve got pretty good fund balance we can get these reserves out of, but it can’t be a long-term,” Culver said. “The more you see this increased in cost, inflation, the more we worry about how it does impact the economy.”
Even though the county is facing problems with inflation, Culver doesn’t want anyone to worry, since the local economy is in good standing.