VIENNA — The Maries County Commission held the annual budget hearing last Thursday at the courthouse. The county’s budget of 52 funds is finished, was signed by the commissioners and the …
VIENNA — The Maries County Commission held the annual budget hearing last Thursday at the courthouse. The county’s budget of 52 funds is finished, was signed by the commissioners and the County Clerk will email it to the state.
The budget includes estimated revenues of $4,898,734 and estimated expenditures of $4,303,404 among all of the funds. The estimated ending balance is $595,330. The beginning balance was $791,640.
The general revenue fund is the largest fund with estimated appropriations of $1,473,471. Other notable funds include Road One $892,625, which also includes the anticipated BRO bridge funding of $250,000; Road Two $425,050; assessment fund $192,780; and the many sheriff’s office funds that include law enforcement training fund $8,400, 911 Fund $171,553, public safety $45,320; special sheriff fund $33,422, citizen’s safety fund $751,295, inmate security fund $32,734, sheriff revolving fund $7,080, law enforcement restricted $24,702, emergency management fund $18,852, trash patrol $7,612 and Belle Protection Fund $226,275.
Other funds include: county commission $86,156; county clerk $86,025; elections $92,645; assessor $192,780 which includes a $40,000 GIS payment; building and grounds $104,800; treasurer $47,600; collector $86,851; circuit clerk $47,100; court administration expenses $1,347; public administrator $21,814; prosecuting attorney $112,344; juvenile officer $27,997; coroner $26,166; Extension $15,000; and license office $80,019.
For the most part the budget process was not too bad this year. The commissioners were pleased to be able to put money into an emergency fund as they are supposed to set aside three percent as a safety new fund but can’t always do it, and to have enough to pay for all of the county’s estimated/budgeted expenses.
The following is the County Clerk Rhonda Rodgers annual budget message to the commissioners:
“The 2020 budget will be $4,438,130, which is up from last year. This includes the half-cent sales tax which was established in April 1990, of which one-third goes to roads, one-third to general revenue and one-third to citizen’s safety. This also includes a half-cent sales tax which was established in April 2002, of which one-sixth goes to general revenue, two-thirds to citizen’s safety and one-fifth road Road One and Two (45/55), which was renewed in 2016. In April 2015 the county renewed a one-third of a one half-cent sales tax, for the purpose of providing law enforcement services. This tax goes to citizen’s safety and has a ten-year sunset.
A look back into the year of 2019 saw a decrease in sales tax and significant increase in license office fees due to a new state law that went into effect August 28. Road District One received disaster money, which helped offset road expenses due to flooding and the Conservation Department brought back their CART program which helped with the expense of keeping the roads up leading to the accesses.
The county was able to put white rock on many county roads; purchase a new brush cutter and tractor; purchase four vehicles for the sheriff’s department; surveillance cameras, upgrade computer equipment and phone system throughout the courthouse; replace two water fountains; replace two and add one AC unit and install a new HVAC system in the jail.
In the 2020 budget, county dispatchers will receive a pay increase equal to the custodian. The county will continue paying a portion of the employee’s medical insurance, with the employee being responsible for this year’s increase. The budget also reflects one new vehicle for the sheriff’s department; starting a BRO bridge, and four elections.”
Western District Commissioner Ed Fagre said the county roads in Road One are in bad shape after two recent floods and two or three snowstorms in the past three weeks. Some of the roads are a muddy mess and the flooding caused the water to go over low water slabs where it has never flooded before. If a spot is too muddy the road crew can’t get their heavy equipment in because it makes it a muddy mess.
At the request of the Heartland Regional Library System, Presiding Commissioner Victor Stratman appointed Eleanor Terry as a new member of the library board, replacing Rita Henderson. Stratman reappointed Laura Schiermeier to the board.
The commission meeting had a visitor Thursday as Tim Carter took a spectator seat and watched. He asked some questions but for the most part he quietly observed the meeting.
The commissioners looked over paperwork that details different things license office staff did that caused the county to be fined $473. Stratman said much of it is petty but there are valid mistakes. He said they employ several part-timers. Eastern District Commissioner Doug Drewel said they knit picked a lot of little claims just to get some money. Stratman said the commission can appeal the decision.
A woman called some county offices and Vienna City Hall last week threatening to have them removed from office for allowing a medical marijuana cultivation facility to operate in the county. One of the licenses Hippos applied for in the city-owned industrial development area along Route V was approved by the state. The woman apparently thinks the commissioners had something to do with it, but they didn’t
Rodgers said the end of year settlement with the circuit court ended up with the county getting a credit of $3,901.65. This money pays for court reporters, juvenile officers and the circuit judges. Sometimes the county has to pay more.
The commissioners talked briefly with Kelsie Lineback about the $15,000 in funding the commissioners approved for the University Extension office in the courthouse. The extension council asked for $17,000 and was appropriated $15,000, the same amount as last year.
Part of the extension office’s budget is money for a new copier. Lineback said they ordered a new printer/copier and will pick it up in Columbia. She thinks they got a good deal on it as it cost about $400 and they got it through the University of Missouri.
The cost of the new copier can be offset by the savings realized with money left over from 2019, not having an election of officers this year, and changing from $0.37 to $0.43 per mile when paying mileage. Lineback said mileage payments will be less now because Maries County is her home base and she does not charge for mileage to come to Vienna. The former program director charged mileage to drive to Vienna and back home for 14 years.