MOUNT VERNON — The Knox County Veterans Service Office will be returning at least $15,000 to $20,000 to the county, possibly even as much as $40,000. They’ll know the amount once they finally compile the total expected expenses for December, Veterans Service Office Director Kevin Henthorn told the County Commissioners at a budget review meeting Thursday.
The commissioners are in the process of meeting with each county department to review their budgets and hear what each department projects for next year. They will then determine the final 2012 county budget.
The Veterans Service Office budget is set by state law at one-half of 1 percent of total property tax revenue, which amounts to about $582,000.
Henthorn said that working in their favor this year, they now have a good assessment of how much it costs to operate in all seasons at the new VSA office on Pittsburgh Road, they’ve made adjustments to programs that have resulted in significant savings and financial officer Melissa Wheeler has found better ways to handle the office’s money.
“The budget’s been a yo-yo in the two and half years since we moved into the new building,” Henthorn said. “Now we have a good handle on it. Mostly, we’ve just tweaked and fine-tuned things. We’ve found ways to streamline operations.
“We’re fixing what’s broke and keeping things tight.”
Commissioner Teresa Bemiller said whatever money is returned to the county goes into the carry-over fund and will offset some of next year’s expenses.
Expenses for the veterans office may not be as low next year. VSA Commissioner John Kaiser, who also attended the meeting, said they will probably also have to replace at least one van next year, and Henthorn noted that he’s using a 5-year-old computer, although they won’t replace it because “it still works.”