The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

January 10, 2014

Jasper County Commissioners approve revised budget for 2014

CARTHAGE, Mo. — A revised, reduced budget for the 2014 year was approved Friday by the Jasper County Commission.

Commissioners in a brief meeting unanimously approved the spending plan, after hearing a review of changes by Richard Webster, county auditor, who serves as budget officer.

Under state law, Friday was the deadline for adoption of the budget.

County officials on Monday were asked to trim their expenditure budgets, after Webster said revenues were falling about $500,000 short in covering proposed expenditures in general fund accounts.

“We want to thank everyone for cooperating,” Webster said. “It took that to make it work, and there was no push-back,” said Darieus Adams, Western District associate commissioner.

Webster said commissioners agreed to allocate just over $235,000 toward the budget-balancing effort from money the county has been holding for several years after a property sale. The nest egg, once more than $1 million, now stands at $100,000.

While commissioners did not cut their office operating budget, Webster said they did cut capital spending, which also is part of the commission budget. Budget revisions show $7,500 trimmed from the capital budget, which Adams said will come from money allocated toward the Rader Farm preservation project.

In addition, Webster said, the cuts reduced general fund spending by $136,000, and that he made revised calculations that boosted revenues by about $82,000.

“We took the officeholders’ recommendations, and we just went through and reduced where we could,” the auditor said.

General revenue spending for the year is up primarily because of costs to conduct primary and general elections later in the year, and an increase in workers’ health insurance costs. The budget does not contain any allocation for boosting workers’ wages during the year.

The revised budget cuts general fund spending to $16.3 million, compared with $16.4 million in the earlier proposed budget. Revenues are estimated at just over $15.2 million, with the budget to be balanced by general revenue reserve funds.

For the 2013 calendar year, commissioners approved a $16 million budget.

Other spending

Other budgets approved by the panel Friday set spending in the assessor’s office at $960,000; from the Law Enforcement Sales Tax Trust Fund, $4.2 million; and from the county highway funds, $8.2 million.


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