Commission to dip into reserves to cover 2022 expenses

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

BLOOMFIELD — Stoddard County will dig into its reserves to cover expenses in 2022.

The county projects $18,516,080 in revenue in 2022 with expenses expected to be $23,410,906.

However, Stoddard County Clerk Cecil Weeks said the difference in revenue and expenditures will be paid from unspent revenue from previous years.

As of Jan. 10, the county had $17,116,566.68 of unspent revenue from previous years that can be used to pay the anticipated $4,894,826 difference in expenses.

The commissioners finalized the budget at a special meeting Thursday, Dec. 30, and announced at the Jan. 3 meeting that a public hearing concerning the budget has been scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday at the Stoddard County Government Building.

The proposed budget may be examined between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays at the clerk’s office.

The county brought in $17,714,245 in total revenue in 2021, while spending $12,962,075, a difference of $4,752,170.

Of the 46 funds in the budget, 28 remained the same, as compared to the 2021 spending plan. Fourteen funds received a budget increase and four received a budget decrease.

The jail construction fund received the biggest increase ($2,430,000 or 177.372%), followed by the county revenue fund ($967,791 or 17.345%). A half-cent sales tax passed by county voters pays for the jail construction.

The sheriff operations fund received $472,247 more than in 2021 (16.79%). A half-cent sales tax passed by county voters pays for this fund.

The sheriff donations/technology fund received the biggest increase by percent (400% or $20,000) followed by the collector’s maintenance fund (296.04% or $59,800).

The road and bridge fund fell the most ($970,750 or 60.08%), as the county didn’t budget use of CART funds and plans to spend $220,000 less for bridge replacement than in 2021.

The CARES Act fund fell the most by percentage (100% or $1,391) because all the $3,405,212 awarded to the county has been spent.

All elected officials received pay raises for 2022.

• County commissioners, 9.688% raise from $127,502 to $139,854. All three commissioners’ salaries are included.

• County clerk, 10% raise from $55,104 to $60,614.

• Collector/treasurer, 8.93% raise from $72,847 to $79,352.

• County recorder, 10% raise from $55,104 to $60,614.

• Prosecuting attorney, 5.653% raise from $143,056 to $151,143.

• Coroner, 9.738% raise from $25,172 to $27,623.

• Public administrator, 9.888% raise from $59,164 to $65,014.

• Accessor, 15.157% raise from $56,457 to $65,014.

• Sheriff, 9.811% raise from 69,767 to $76,611.

ARPA update

The county spent $130,222.74 of its American Rescue Plan Act funds in 2021.

The Stoddard County Ambulance District received $126,940.24, and Bootheel Regional Planning Commission received $3,282.50 in administrative fees for handling the paperwork for submitting requests for APRA funds.

Floodplain variance

The commissioners approved a floodplain development variance application for Strobel Farms of Bell City at the Dec. 27, 2021, meeting. The business plans to build grain bins on their property. The floodplain development variance plan allows landowners whose property is located on a floodplain or may be in a floodplain to construct new structures on the land as is, according to associate commissioner Steve Jordan.

EMA report

EMA Director Andrew Bohnert told the commissioners at Monday’s meeting that he has applied for a $11,610 reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for COVID-19 cleaning costs incurred from September through December 2021.

He said FEMA will reimburse cleaning costs until April 1 of this year for unbudgeted funds spent. Funds allocated in the county’s budget or received through claims submitted to insurance companies are ineligible for reimbursement through FEMA.

Bohnert said the county has received $9,200.33 from Emergency Management Performance Grants for October through December 2021. The money was used to help pay for his salary and miscellaneous expenses.

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