Barry County anticipates possible budget growth

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Sheriff seeking more staff; elections driving projections

Barry County commissioners will be tasked with trimming about $400,000 from their annual budget with they meet for their annual budget hearing at 10 a.m. on Jan. 22 at the historic courthouse in Cassville.

Commissioners head into the year in relatively solid shape, having budgeted $4.58 million in 2017 and spending only $4.36 million.

Barry County Clerk Gary Youngblood said department heads are seeking a cost of living raise for their employees from between 3 and 5 percent.

Youngblood made several accounting changes this year that will change simple comparisons with the previous year. He switched all the county offices to a new phone system under MDC. Rather than have each office charged with a phone bill, one bill will exist under buildings and grounds, lowering the budgets for the various office holders.

Sheriff Gary Davis, who has the biggest budget of all the office holders, has absorbed the $4,000 cost for participating in the area drug task force into his budget. Davis is requesting $98,000 more than his 2017 budget, having overspent that budget by $80,000. Youngblood said the sheriff is seeking to add at least another deputy.

Also, Youngblood said county commissioners opted to end a longstanding practice last year of giving law enforcement staff comp time for holidays instead of overtime pay. The issue became particularly sticky when staff would leave and expect payment. At the end of 2017, all those employees were paid for their time, and would now receive payment going forward.

Davis also asked for a $98,000 boost in his budget for the jail, having overspent his 2017 budget by over $33,000. Youngblood said the request included additional jail staff and the holiday pay.

The county commission requested about $25,000 more than last year. Youngblood said commissioners plan to buy a couple more vehicles for the sheriff, which come out of their budget. They spent a similar amount in 2017, having had to replace the car involved in the crash that killed Deputy Carl Cosper on April 7.

“You never budget for that kind of thing, but you still have to replace the car,” Youngblood said.

Since 2018 is a general election year, Youngblood has boosted the office supply budget to over $103,000 to cover the cost of printing ballots. He requested nearly $15,000 more for his election budget to cover compensation to judges, building rental, training and mileage.

Benefits for employees held steady despite health insurance rising slightly per employee. Spending in 2017 was $40,000 under Youngblood’s estimate, in part due to employees not working the full year and thus not taking the full amount projected. He noted that worker’s compensation insurance dropped for the year, a welcome change.

Prosecutor Amy Boxx asked for a $6,000 budget increase after underspending the 2017 budget by more than $20,000. She is seeking funding for a part-time investigator.

Collector Janice Varner is seeking nearly $7,000 in additional funds over her 2017 budget. She has renewed requests from past years to buy equipment, programming and mileage.

Coroner Jim Fohn has a nearly $2,000 increase requested to cover autopsies. Youngblood said that is another unpredictable variable. The coroner spent $5,900 in autopsies in 2016 and $13,000 in 2017.

Emergency Management Director David Compton asked for nearly $2,000 over his 2017 budget for a pay boost for himself and his assistant.

The public administrator asked for a $16,000 budget increase, having added a part-time assistant in 2017. Youngblood said the administrator will repay the county out of fees generated in his office.

The recorder of deeds requested approximately $4,500 over the 2017 budget for a pay raise for the two people in that office and for training expenses.

The surveyor’s budget, which only spent $801 in 2017, was again targeting $4,500. Youngblood said progress on measuring for cooperative corners sometimes depends on availability of reimbursement from the state.

The University of Missouri Extension Service requested nearly $1,000 more to increase time for its youth coordinator.

The buildings and grounds request also had a slight increase planned for rises in utility costs. The request for liability insurance and bonds anticipated a $10,000 increase after spending more than $5,000 over projections last year. Youngblood expected the cost of bonds covering county offices would rise. Rental expenses fell about $8,000 below projections last year and Youngblood figured would cost about the same in 2018, covering the county’s portion of offices for the Juvenile Office, the public defender and copy machines.

Commissioners will again consider setting $280,000 aside for capital improvements, a practice that has continued since passage of the second sales tax for general operations. Last year they spent $72,551 of that. Youngblood said the practice sets aside funds for future needs, which have not yet been determined.

Requests totaled $4,909,131.44, after the county spent $4,369,020 in 2017.

“It’s too much to grant it all,” Youngblood said. “We’ll make some cuts.”

Requests by department and categories follow, compared to the 2017 approved budget in parentheses:

Sheriff: $892,184.06 ($794,448.76 in 2017)

Jail: $596,281.71 ($470,405.51)

Prosecuting attorney: $422,843 ($416,345)

County commission: $264,370 ($239,470)

Clerk: $61,173 ($70,000)

Treasurer: $46,675 ($47,230)

Collector: $123,222.43 ($116,407)

Recorder: $51,979.44 ($47,368)

Circuit court clerk: $17,600 ($31,300)

Surveyor: $4,500 ($4,500)

University Extension: $41,260 ($40,165)

Public administrator: $36,906.80 ($20,739)

Juvenile office: $129,302 ($123,522)

Coroner: $33,500 ($31,600)

Emergency management: $17,000 ($12,940)

Elections: $69,580 ($54,723)

Buildings and grounds: $215,813 ($212,678.44)

Circuit court administration: $7,621 ($7,622)

Employee benefits: $604,945 ($605,475)

Capital projects: $280,000 ($280,000)

Insurance for property, liability: $120,000 ($110,000)

Publications: $9,000 ($8,500)

Rents and leases: $40,000 ($32,500)

Monett TIF reimbursement: $67,000 ($60,000, pass through)

Miscellaneous: $4,500 ($4,500)

Emergency fund: $600,000 ($600,000; state law required percentage of budget)

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