County Hikes Funding in New Budget for Some Offices - The Missourian: County

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County Hikes Funding in New Budget for Some Offices

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Posted: Wednesday, January 23, 2013 12:00 pm

Many county departments may see an increase in their budgets in the new fiscal year.

The Franklin County Commission will consider approval of the 2013 budget Jan. 29 during its regular Tuesday meeting, which starts at 10 a.m.

A public hearing for the budget will take place right before the meeting at 9 a.m. in the County Commission Chambers.

Despite the fact that many departments’ budgets are increasing, only a small number of county employees are proposed to get raises this year.

“You’d love to give everybody raises, but you have to think long term, too” county Auditor Tammy Vemmer said. “You want to keep it operating so they have a job.”

Vemmer said departments have cut their budgets to “bare bones.”

Sales tax revenue, which is the county’s largest source of income, is estimated to be the same in 2013 as 2012 at $15.6 million.

“We project our revenues conservatively,” Vemmer said.

Personnel is about the only area left to cut, she said, adding that layoffs are not planned.

Workers in the recorder of deeds office and assessor’s office are proposed to get raises with money saved from leaving positions vacant. Sixteen highway department employees are also getting raises through their union contract.

Departments Proposed to Get More Money in Fiscal Year 2013

Compared to Their Revised 2012 Budgets:

• 2012 county commission, $270,209; 2013, $290,800.

• 2012 county clerk, $438,304; 2013, $443,718.

• 2012 treasurer, $116,093; 2013, $131,928.

• 2012 auditor, $152,447; 2013, $154,356.

• 2012 collector, $502,211; 2013, $568,802.

• 2012 county counselor,  $169,378; 2013, $178,770.

• 2012 juvenile office, $314,212; 2013, $341,708.

• 2012 public administrator, $138,975; 2013, $144,565.

• 2012 recorder of deeds, $470,053; 2013, $533,778.

• 2012 economic development/tourism, $24,400; 2013, $32,934.

• 2012 maintenance, $688,295; 2013, $695,074.

• 2012 medical examiner, $237,000; 2013, $246,231.

Departments Proposed to Get the Same or Less Money in 2013 Compared to 2012:

• 2012 circuit clerk,  $189,844; 2013, $127,900.

• 2012 prosecuting attorney, $1.395 million; 2013, $1.392 million.

• 2012 child support, $307,134; 2013, $211,828.

• 2012 juvenile detention, $313,400; 2013, $307,563.

• 2012 health services, $819,950; 2013, $810,702.

• 2012 building department, $477,799; 2013, $427,184.

• 2012 voter registration/elections, $765,190; 2013, $522,885.

• 2012 University of Missouri Extension Center, $167,400; 2013, $167,400.

• 2012 planning and zoning, $242,122; 2013, $209,173.

• 2012 emergency management, $167,046; 2013, $165,057.

• 2012 local emergency management planning committee, $83,350; 2013, $48,350.

• 2012 information technology, $350,483; 2013, $337,836.

• 2012 geographic information systems, $94,833; 2013, $94,341.

• 2012 circuit court, $151,400; 2013, $151,400.

Other Departments/Funds

The county assessor’s office falls into a separate fund from the general fund.

It is broken down into two departments — real estate and personal property.

The 2012 assessor’s budget for real estate was $667,883, and the 2013 proposed budget is $596,458.

For personal property, the 2012  assessor’s budget was $365,946, and the 2013 proposed is $413,101.

The sheriff’s office is also separate from the general fund, and in 2012 it had a revised budget of $6.991 million compared to the 2013 proposed budget of $7.259 million.

The county jail’s 2012 revised budget was $2.687 million compared to the 2013 proposed budget of $2.732 million.

County 911 addressing had a 2012 revised budget of $558,047 compared to  the proposed 2013 budget of $727,856.

County 911 dispatching had a 2012 revised budget of  $234,615 and a 2013 proposed budget of $245,071.

The Franklin County Municipal Court had a 2012 revised budget of $77,988 and a 2013 proposed budget of $156,883.

The family court fund had a 2012 revised budget of $162,785 and a 2013 proposed budget of $163,109.

Road and bridge administration expenditures are staying about the same in the proposed 2013 budget at  $485,685.

But road and bridge operation expenditures are proposed to go up significantly in the 2013 budget to $27.2 million compared to the 2012 revised budget of $14.7 million. The expenditures are higher because road and bridge is going to pay off a 2007 series of bonds that were issued for the Pave the County program.

The Brush Creek Sewer District is proposed to have a 2013 budget of $493,643, which is about the same as 2012.

Total Budget

The main difference between the 2012 and 2013 budgets deals with certificates of participation, which are bonds that the county issued to finance the Pave the County program, the new judicial center, the government building, renovation of the old courthouse and a sheriff’s office heating and air-conditioning project.

The 2013 budget is proposed to have $34.2 million in revenue compared to the 2012 budget of $73.9 million. That means the proposed new budget has $39.7 million less in revenue than the 2012 budget.

Vemmer explained that 2012 showed more revenue because the certificates of participation were refinanced and replaced with another series of bonds. The 2012 revenues included the $39.2 million that the county received when it refinanced the bonds.

But the 2013 budget will have a beginning fund balance of $58.5 million, meaning there will be about $92.7 million available for appropriations.

Much of the $58.5 million in carryover money is designated for future payments on the certificates of participation.

The 2013 budget designates $63.1 million for regular county operations and $6.9 million for emergency reserves.

The remaining $22.7 million will be rolled into the 2014 budget for future payments on the certificates of participation and other operating expenditures.

Expenditures in 2013 are shown as being higher than 2012, because the 2007 certificates of participation will be paid off, and interest and principal payments will be made on the 2012 series of bonds. The proposed 2013 budget has $16.5 million more in expenditures than 2012.

Reserves

The county has two ways it sets aside money for emergencies.

One way is called “emergency reserves,” which only applies to four county funds — the general fund, road and bridge fund, assessment fund and the law enforcement sales tax trust fund.

The emergency reserves represent the amount of carryover from year to year in the individual funds. The emergency reserves can only be used for purposes within those funds.

Separate from emergency reserves is an “emergency fund,” which the county is setting up for the first time this year. It will start with $3 million, and it can be used for emergencies in all county operations.

Vemmer said state statute requires the emergency fund to have at least 3 percent of anticipated revenue, and she said the county’s exceeds that amount.

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