The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

January 7, 2014

Jasper County officials to trim 2014 spending

CARTHAGE, Mo. — The Jasper County Commission hopes to be able to act Friday on a revised, reduced county budget for 2014, John Bartosh, presiding commissioner, said Tuesday.

Budget discussions were limited Tuesday at the commission’s general session, though the gathering did attract more elected officials than normal.

Officials were told on Monday to cut their proposed expenditure budgets for 2014 by 2 percent, and Richard Webster, county auditor, said he’s waiting for the revised budgets that are due today.

“I don’t have any numbers for you yet,” he told the commissioners.

Webster and the commissioners said the changes are needed in a proposed budget that has been under review for more than a month because county revenues have fallen short, resulting in a budget shortfall. Webster said the county would need at least $1.5 million in carry-over funds to balance the budget as proposed. The proposed budget estimates general fund spending at $16.4 million and revenues at $14.9 million.

“We hope to schedule action on the budget for Friday, but we’re waiting for the officeholders to get their budgets back to Richard,” Bartosh said.

In other business, the commissioners heard from Chief Chris Thompson and Kendall Terry, fire marshal, of the Carthage Fire Department. The Carthage department covers a large area around the city that is in a fire district, and Thompson said he wanted the county’s help in reminding rural landowners that the district is required to enforce outside burning regulations set by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

Permits are required for burning wastes generated by a commercial operation. State law bans the burning of tires, rubber products, plastics, treated wood and materials that contain asbestos.

Landowners should call the Fire Department in advance at 237-7100, Terry said, if they plan “a fire of any significance.”

“It doesn’t mean they can’t burn, but we want them to let us know,” he said. “Otherwise, people will call and report it, and we’ll have to respond. We want to know what’s out there.”

Darieus Adams, Western District associate commissioner, said burning regulations enforced by the fire district will be posted on the county’s website.


THE COUNTY COMMISSION on Tuesday appointed Matt Sossamon, of Webb City, to fill a vacancy on the Jasper County Sheltered Facilities Board. The board oversees county tax funds that benefit developmentally disabled residents.

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In an effort to curb prostitution, St. Louis police are targeting, and perhaps humiliating, the "johns" who use the services. Postcards mailed to the homes of those charged with trying to pick up prostitutes will offer a reminder about spreading sexually transmitted diseases, along with listing the court date. Do you think this is a good approach?

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