Barry County proposes budget

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Hearing scheduled for budget review Thursday, Jan. 20

Barry County is preparing its 2022 budget with a hearing scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 20 at the Barry County Courthouse in Cassville.

In its proposed budget for 2022, Barry County is proposing approximately $266,503 more in expenses in 2022 than it did in 2021.

A majority of those added expenses come in the form of capital improvement projects and a land purchase.

Barry County Clerk Joyce Ennis said the county is seeking a budget of $465,000 in the capital projects line item compared to the $300,000 proposed in 2021. Of the $300,000 the County Commission approved in 2021, only $29,705 was actually spent. Ennis said this year, the county is looking to replace the roof on the county courthouse, and has plans to purchase property for a new jail facility.

“We have to have that money budgeted in case that sale goes through,” Ennis said.

The county Election’s Department has also nearly doubled its budget request, from $46,287 approved in 2021 to $88,627 being requested this year.

Ennis said that request, along with a steep increase in office supplies, from $81,450 approved in 2021 to $122,020 requested this year, is a direct result of election costs.

“Last year I only had one election, and this year we will have three,” Ennis said. “And they just get more expensive every year.”

Barry County will hold elections in April, August and November this year.

Ennis is also requesting $10,000 for publications, the same as last year.

“Most of our publication costs come from publishing financial statements and election results,” she said.

Most county departments are requesting budgets that are in line with last year’s approved budget or acutal expenses.

The county Building and Grounds department is seeking $246,865 for the coming year, while it was approved for $213,283 last year and came in slightly over budget with actual expenses of $234,322.

Likewise, the County Collector’s Office is requesting a budget of $123,659 for the coming year, compared to the $119,960 approved last year and the $123,469 in actual expenses for 2021.

Court Administration costs are also on the rise. Last year, the County Commission approved a budget of $8,156 for Court Administration, which spent a total of $6,398 in 2021. This year, the Circuit Court is requesting $8,255 for its annual budget.

The biggest leap for the county budget is the miscellaneous costs, which were approved for $65,000 in expenses last year and spent a total of $105,080 in 2021. For 2022, the county is seeking a budget of $122,020.

Ennis said there are a lot of county expenses that come out of the miscellaneous budget and she did not have examples of what projects are coming that require the budget request.

Under public safety, Barry County Sheriff’s Office is requesting $1,033,597 this year. Last year, it was approved for $983,148 and spent a total of $759,229.

For the Jail, the Sheriff is requesting $698,980 this year. Last year, the Jail had an approved budget of $616,651 and spent a total of $535,514.

The Juvenile Office is requesting $157,699 this year and spent $136,765 of its approved budget of $423,214 last year.

The proposed budget also includes a $1,000,000 emergency fund.

The proposed budget will be discussed during a hearing at 10 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 20 in the county courthouse in Cassville. The County Commission and department heads will have an opportunity to make amendments or adjustments to the requests.

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