Thursday evening the Marshall County Council passed the 2024 budget on third and final reading.
Prior to accepting next year’s budget County Auditor Angie Birchmeier said total reductions made by the council in the General Fund totaled $1,467,042. When asked about the changes to the budget from the second reading to the final reading, Birchmeier said most of it was wages, changes in the Health Department, and $2,500 for the Clerk.
Jesse Bohannon, President of the County Council recommended passage of the 2024 budget as presented with the understanding that the council still needs to adopt the 2024 Salary Ordinance and while the budget may have been prepared with a certain wage, the Salary Ordinance is where the wage payment is determined.
The motion was made to pass the 2024 Budget Ordinance on final reading but prior to taking the vote, Councilwoman Nicole Cox said, “I received this yesterday and I have questions because there were things that had changed from the 2nd reading to the 3rd reading that I wasn’t comfortable with. I feel like it’s been rushed. I feel like I still need to go look through it and I haven’t had a chance to go through it. This will be the third time I’ve gone through this budget line-by-line. It’s frustrating because this budget form looks different than the other one, we’ve been working on. I have questions but most of my questions revolve around wages so I feel like I can hopefully clear up or make changes during our wage ordinance.”
Bohannon said there will be a chance to discuss the 2024 Salary Ordinance during their November meeting and amendments could be made that would impact next year’s budget. He also said the council could do a reduction after the first of the year or do some cleaning up of the budget and clarifications.
The motion to adopt the 2024 budget was unanimously approved with the six members present at Thursday’s meeting.
Councilman and chairman of the Budget and Finance Committee Tim Harman said General Fund requests for 2024 started at $16,167,000. The council reduced the budget by $1.5 million so next year’s General Fund Budget ended up at $15,058,000.