More than seven million dollars, that's how much more funding Jefferson County departments are requesting for the upcoming fiscal year.

It's budget time for government entities, a time for department heads and elected officials to submit their wish list.

The proposed budget for the next fiscal year, which starts October 1, is $7.3 million increase from the current budget.

There are two big ticket items that account for almost half of the increase in budget requests.

The capital projects total two million dollars and include work on LaBelle Road to eventually connect it to Major Drive, and alleviate traffic, as well as improvements at Keith Lake Park.

As for Ford Park, in addition to the almost $1.9 million the county is allotting for operational expenses, the park is seeking an additional $1.3 million for maintenance projects at the complex, which is to correct some wear-and-tear at the 10-year-old facility.

Other upcoming budget expenses include a state-mandated increase in the salaries of district judges and the district attorney, which will require Jefferson County to up their pay by three thousand dollars each.

Constables James Trahan and Jeff Greenway are both seeking three thousand dollar raises.

Emergency Management Coordinator Greg Fountain is seeking a seven thousand dollar raise for his deputy, Mike White, that would bring his salary up from $48,913 to $56,000.

County auditor, Patrick Swain, says White's salary increase can be covered by government grant money.

The county's contract with union law enforcement also guarantees those deputies raises, but whether non-union county employees will see a pay hike is still not known.

Swain says commissioners definitely will try giving employees a cost-of-living raise.

Swain also says commissioners have no plans to increase the tax rate.

County commissioners must approve a budget by September 30th, budget hearings start July 29th.