Madison County supervisors are keeping a tight lip on ongoing budget negotiations as they try and finalize the next year’s budget.

Supervisors are set to the budget on Tuesday at the first scheduled board meeting in September.

At a special called meeting on Monday, supervisors were given a spreadsheet with four proposed budgets and their totals.

The first proposal totals over $92 million and includes all budget requests from elected officials and department heads. The other three budget proposals range from $88,201,000 to $88,929,000.

District 2 Supervisor Trey Baxter said it’s his goal to cut operating expenses throughout different budgets in an effort to increase money the county can use on infrastructure projects.

“I’m trying to cut operating expenses so we can pave more roads and build more infrastructure,” he said. “We’ve got a fast-growing community and we need the money to address those needs.”

Baxter said he wasn’t in favor of giving pay raises to employees this year after doling out a 3-percent raise across the board last year.

“In the private sector people don’t get raises every, single year,” he said.

Board President Sheila Jones said it was too early to comment on what the budget will look like because they continue to negotiate and play with the numbers.

District 4 Supervisor David Bishop echoed Jones’ statement, saying nothing has been finalized and they were still looking at everything.

“Balance your budget — that’s a necessity as far as I’m concerned,” he said. “We need more money for roads, which is what we need. I’m all for doing that.”

Bishop was optimistic in saying he thinks all five supervisors will agree on a final budget Tuesday, despite the other years in this term where there has been a split vote on the budget.

“As far as I’m concerned, everybody I’ve talked to is pretty much in the same ballpark,” he said. “Hopefully we’ll have a 5-0 vote on this when it comes down to a final budget.”

District 3 Supervisor Gerald Steen and District 5 Supervisor Paul Griffin were unavailable for comment Wednesday.

Exactly what will be included and excluded from the final budget is up in the air at this point, with no supervisor able to give definite expenditure ideas.

Last year, the county passed a $78 million budget, but the total ballooned to $108 million. The lowest proposed budget at $88 million is already $10 million more than what the county began last year.

That number includes bond money, $1 million for Sulphur Springs Park from a grant from the Madison County Nursing Home, and over $500,000 in increased payroll expenses from health insurance, worker’s compensation, and the Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS). The county has a payroll of approximately $16 million, but once fringe benefits are added that number comes out to be $23 million.