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Marion County Board Approves Tentative Budget

November 16, 2016

The Marion County Board has approved a tentative budget with a small shortfall for the fiscal year beginning December first. But Finance Committee Chair Debbie Smith says the deficit is the smallest in recent years and comes on the heels of a deficit expected to top one million dollars in the current fiscal year.

“We work very diligently with all the office holders with reference to the budget line items and a lot of office holders did take some major cuts to try to get our budget balanced for 2017. Right now we still have a shortfall of $87,838 but we are hoping we can make that up along the year with some other things that office holders can cut. Otherwise we are looking better than we have in years.”

Smith reports the biggest reduction will be the cut of a $58,000 request from the sheriff’s department to purchase two new cars. Smith says there will be no employee reductions. The county’s financial situation could change depending on the final cost of providing health insurance under the Affordable Health Care Act and on-going union negotiations. .

The tentative budget has $7,559,000 in revenue and $7,947,000 in expenses, which includes a $300,000 contingency funds. The county will begin the year with a $1,583,000 balance.

The budget will be on file at the county clerk’s office until a special board meeting at seven pm on Wednesday, November 30th, when the board will be asked to give final approval to the budget.

The board approved spending $120,000 in county road funds towards the $440,000 total cost of replacement of the Horse Creek Bridge over the Kell Road east of Kell.

Veterinarian Dr. A.J. Sprague was told no decisions would be made on issuing vouchers for reduced cost spaying and nuetering of pets until the new board is seated. He will ask to be placed on the January Community Relations Committee meeting.

Several appointments were made. Ben Stratemeyer and Sonya Germann were reappointed to the Southern Illinois Tourism Board. Cathy Stuehmeier and Wayne Putman were reappointed to the 708 Mental Health Board. Acting Centralia Police Chief Brian Atchison was appointed to replace former Centralia Police Chief Doug Krutsinger on the 9-1-1 emergency phone board.

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