Health care expenses, utility bills and payments to the regional jail system will likely increase in the coming year, Kanawha officials believe.
The end of the year is quickly approaching, and that means county officials soon will begin work on the budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1.
Commission President Kent Carper said at a meeting Thursday afternoon he would submit a plan similar to the current $49 million budget.
The county budgeted about $5.8 million to cover health care costs for the current fiscal year, said David Fontalbert, chief fiscal officer for the county. The line item received a $750,000 supplement for increased costs, he said.
Fontalbert foresees a possible 10 percent increase in the health care line item.
"We really have no control over the health care costs," he said.
The county likely will see an increase in the cost to house inmates at South Central Regional Jail. That line item is currently $4.6 million per year, Carper said.
He isn't planning on any across-the-board raises for county employees.
Fontalbert will send a letter to other elected officials asking them to submit budget requests to the commission by Feb. 15. Budget hearings will be held between Feb. 15 and March 21.
The budget must be submitted to the state auditor's office by March 28, he said.
Commissioners also approved a request by Sheriff-elect John Rutherford to appoint his older brother, current sheriff Mike Rutherford, as chief deputy.
John will take over the sheriff's position on Jan. 1. He retired from the sheriff's department in August to run for the office.
He took over as interim director of the Metro 911 Center after he retired from police work.
Mike will make about $82,000 a year as chief deputy. That's about $5,000 more than his brother did in that position.