On Monday, the Marshall County Council took official action and approved the 2023 budget.
Councilmembers reviewed the proposed budget for each of the county’s departments including those in the General Fund and those with Special Funds by going through the budget requests page by page.
Council members only made a few minor changes to the proposed budget for next year. Councilman Jesse Bohannon noted that if all members of the County Drainage Board attend all the meetings next year there will be a shortfall of $500.
County Clerk Deb VanDeMark told the council that they removed all the funds she had in her training line from her budget. They had made the same change in several budgets to encourage department heads to use the County’s Training Fund. VanDeMark said all training isn’t covered in the Training Fund, only training approved by the state. If a department head wants an employee to have some additional training and it isn’t state approve it wouldn’t be eligible to be paid out of the County Training Fund. The Council put the $300 back into her budget.
Council members asked the County Prosecutor if they could remove the part-time clerical amount of $39,739 since that position has been rolled into another part-time position to make one full-time position. He approved reducing his budget.
Councilman Bohannon said following the last meeting there was a discussion of a reduction in the Superior Court II budget. One question was about the increase in the repair of furniture line and the second was an increase in the bi-lingual interpreter stipend.
Judge Colvin attended the meeting and said he increase the repair of furniture from $500 to $1,000 because his furniture is from 1985. He anticipates reupholstering some chairs and other necessary repairs. The Judge said the court interprets are very important considering the large Hispanic population in the county. He felt that an increase of $500 for each of the two interpreters was justified. The overall budget increase was from $4,000 to $5,000. The County Council cut the interpreter line item back to $4,000.
The council also questioned the $5,000 in the Problem-Solving Court budget for Superior Court III and the Community Corrections budget. Ward Byers, Director of Court Services told members the funds were included in the budget in case the Department of Corrections didn’t approve the extra in the grant. He said the additional funds were approved in the grant from the state and the additional could be removed from the budget. Buyers did explain that the stipend is for the additional duties an employee has taken for the Problem-Solving Court.
The County Council unanimously approved the 2023 budget with a General Fund total of $13,747,501 and the Special Fund budgets totaling $18,915,119 for a combined total of $32,662,620.
County Auditor Julie Fox said the General Fund revenues for next year were conservatively estimated at $13,418,753 and the estimated revenues for the Special Funds at $4,320,936.
Councilmembers commented that they approved a balanced budget that included a health wage increase for employees and that the 2023 budget was $1.2 million less than the 2022 budget.