With $1.2 million less in revenue next year, Duchesne County commissioners say this is the toughest budget year they've encountered during the past several years of declining revenue.

Following a public hearing Dec. 6, commissioners went ahead and officially adopted their 1995 proposed budget totaling $3.9 million with just a few minor changes.Perhaps the most controversial item in the 1995 budget was a $30,100 increase in the commissioners' budget. That money will be used to hire a full-time executive secretary, whose main responsibility will be to aggressively pursue government grants to enhance county revenue.

Art Taylor, Duchesne, questioned commissioners about their decision to create new employment at a time of severe funding cuts.

"I still believe we have quality people within the county. We could relieve them of some of their responsibility and let them get the work done," he said.

Taylor also cautioned commissioners about matching funding stipulations and other strings that come attached to many government grants.

Commissioners Larry Ross and Curtis Dastrup said they look at the $30,000 price tag as a good investment for the county.

"It doesn't concern me at all to spend $30,000 to take in $100,000. I would do that any day," Ross replied."We would have a person with a specific goal. One of the reasons we do this is to increase our revenue. We should have been doing this for years."

In fact, commissioners are so sure the move will prove financially beneficial that they have included $100,000 in grant revenue in their 1995 budget, even though at this point no funding applications have been made.

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"We don't know specifically where it will come from or where it will go to, but we realize it is there and we need to access it," Ross stated. Grants are typically available for such county-operated programs as aging, law enforcement and the landfill.

"There are federal grants out there to help us build the landfill and get equipment. We're talking about building a new jail. There's money out there for that," Commissioner Dastrup said.

According to commissioners, Uintah County obtained $374,000 in grant money last year through the expertise of their grants manager.

In the absence of a definite answer to the county's garbage collection dilemma, the adopted budget does include continued funding for the countywide dumpster service.

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