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Callaway County budget OK'd

Callaway County budget OK'd

January 10th, 2019 by Helen Wilbers in Local News

This August 2017 photo shows a portion of downtown Fulton, including the Callaway County Courthouse and its flag.

Photo by Jenny Gray /Fulton Sun.

Callaway County's 2019 budget, passed Friday, is slightly bigger than the previous year's budget.

After much work and revision, the budget put the projected total revenue at $17,230,580 and expenditures at $18,449,578. Those figures are 6.64 percent and 4.33 percent higher, respectively, than last year's.

"Everything's getting more expensive, whether it's rocks or office supplies," Presiding Commissioner Gary Jungermann pointed out in mid-December. "Road and bridge is going up because the materials we use are getting more expensive. Like metal culverts: Metal is crazy right now, due to those tariffs."

In total, the county expects expenses to outweigh revenue by $1,218,998. That's better than the 2018 budget, which had a projected shortfall of $1,526,351.

Nevertheless, expenses are growing faster than revenue, county officials say. Jungermann said in December that the use tax, passed in 2015, has gone a long way toward offsetting increased expenses.

"If we hadn't passed that use tax, I don't know what we'd do," he said at the time. "We're using just about every dollar we bring in."

The use tax is projected to rake in $802,500 in 2019. Of that amount, $300,000 will be spent on expenses related to public safety, such as equipment and vehicles for law enforcement.

Expected expenditures in the road and bridge department have increased by $423,123, or 9.81 percent, to $4,735,492; while projected revenue has decreased by $134,530, or 3.11 percent, to $4,191,970.

One area where increased revenue is expected to increase is the recorder of deeds office. Revenue is expected to be 22.95 percent, or $5,450, higher than in 2018. Estimated expenditures in the office have fallen as well, and the office is projected to operate at a $4,200 gain. The county assessor's office is also expected to operate at a $196,220 gain.

General revenue is on the rise, with an expected $8,991,898 rolling in this year — 4.73 percent more than in 2018. General operating fund expenditures are also expected to increase, though not by as much. Expenditures are expected to rise by 3.45 percent to $9,665,667.