The Blaine County commissioners tentatively approved a county budget for Fiscal Year 2021 on Tuesday.

After about six hours of discussion on Monday and Tuesday, the commissioners voted unanimously to set the tentative budget at $30,562,689. The tentative budget aligns with the recommendation of County Clerk JoLynn Drage, the board's budget officer.

If finalized, the $30.5 million draft budget would mean a roughly 3 percent decrease in budgeted spending from the previous year’s $31.5 million budget.

Funding the $30.5 million budget will mean dipping $554,080 into the county’s reserves for road and bridge, waterways, and emergency communications expenses. The county has tentatively budgeted about $2.7 million in road and bridge spending, roughly $300,000 less than the $3 million the department requested.

The $30.5 million total does not include the budget of the Blaine County Ambulance District, which the commissioners will consider at their regular meeting next Tuesday. The county budget officer has recommended budgeting $3.3 million in spending for the Ambulance District, an increase from last year’s $2.9 million but less than the $3.5 million that was requested.

A more in-depth look at the Blaine County FY 2021 tentative budget will appear in the Friday edition of the Express.

Email the writer: gkauffman@mtexpress.com

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