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The Lake News Online
  • Expenses down, revenue up in Morgan County

  • The Morgan County Commission is forecasting general fund expenses of close to $2.7 million in 2013, a 12 percent decrease from 2012. Revenue is projected to increase nearly 5 percent from roughly $2.21 million to $2.32 million.
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  • The Morgan County Commission is forecasting general fund expenses of close to $2.7 million in 2013, a 12 percent decrease from 2012. Revenue is projected to increase nearly 5 percent from roughly $2.21 million to $2.32 million.
    With carryover of approximately $2.3 million, the county will have more than $4.7 million available for apportionments in 2013.
    Western District Commissioner Wayne Kroeschen described the 2013 budget as tight this year, but also optimistic.
    Though it is still not back to the peak 2007 level, county sales tax revenue was up in 2012 from 2011. As a result, the commission forecasted a slight increase in sales tax for 2013.
    But the commission has also cut around $86,000 to reflect loss of sales tax due to the Missouri Supreme Court ruling last year that made sales tax on out-of-state purchases and person-to-person sales by counties and municipalities unconstitutional.
    The county began to see the loss of revenue from this source in 2012. To give voters the option of maintaining the county's funding level, the commission has proposed a use tax on these items that would replace the sales tax. The issue will be on the April ballot.
    The tabulations for the 2013 budget reflect a year ahead with no major projects planned. In 2012, budgeted expenses were more than $700,000 above 2011 due in part to the one time expense of approximately $250,000 in repairs to the justice center.
    The 2013 apportionments budget is more similar to 2011 expenses of $2.36 million.
    County employees were also given a 35 cent per hour raise across the board in 2013. Radio equipment to comply with new government regulations was funded through general revenues as well.
    To help keep the budget in line, the county commission also made small cuts across the board that brought each line items close to the actual numbers that came in at the end of 2012, according to Western District Commissioner Wayne Kroeschen.
    Operations under the general fund include the offices of county commission, county clerk, treasurer, collector, recorder of deeds, circuit clerk, judges and court administration, prosecuting attorney, coroner and public administrator. Expenses for operating and maintaining county buildings and grounds, emergency management, capital improvements and an emergency fund are also covered by the general fund. The general fund also supplements 911 operations.
    A separate fund covers the Road & Bridge Department. Commissioners set anticipated revenues for this fund at $1.9 million with a carryover balance of roughly $576,500. Approved expenses come in just under the total forecasted expenditures of almost $2.3 million.
    According to Kroeschen, the county has one major project planned for the department in 2013.
    The county plans to replace the bridge on Crystal Rd., off Route BB, through a matching grant from the federal government.
    The final scope of work and project budget has not yet been approved in the grant process, but Kroeschen anticipated that it would cost close to $400,000. The grant would pay about 80 percent. The county's 20 percent, however, can be an in-kind match, so some of the work will be done in-house.
    Page 2 of 2 - The Law Enforcement Sales Fund is the main operational base for the sheriff's office.
    Various smaller funds supplement the sheriff's office and other departments.
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